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November 17, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Jobs demonstrators take over Seattle bridge

Hundreds of demonstrators marched onto Seattle’s University Bridge during rush hour Thursday in one of several rallies for “Jobs Not Cuts.”

Plans were originally to go to the Montlake Bridge, but organizers changed to the University Bridge, to eliminate any interference with hospital traffic and Highway 520 access. Police escorted the group, and there were no conflicts as of the first hour.

Demonstrators carry a huge replica of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution to the University Bridge in Seattle on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. (Aaron Jaffe / The Seattle Times)

The rally started at the triangle near Husky Stadium and the UW Medical Center, with about 700 people in near-freezing rain. It was organized by Working Washington, a coalition of labor and community groups.

Labor groups chose old bridges around the country to support proposals in Congress to boost infrastructure spending. The Seattle event also highlighted the health-care affordability crisis, and deep cuts to university funding

The University Bridge reopened at 6:15 p.m. after being closed about an hour and a half. About 120 marchers continued to walk toward downtown on Eastlake Avenue East, occupying the southbound direction with police alongside.

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