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Demonstration by 20 women briefly blocks traffic on 405 Freeway in Costa Mesa

Demonstration by 20 women briefly blocks traffic on 405 Freeway in Costa Mesa
Women, some of them holding signs that say "Unity," demonstrate Friday on the 405 Freeway in Costa Mesa. (Bradley Zint / Times Community News)

A group of 20 women, some sporting messages with the word "unity," temporarily halted traffic along the 405 Freeway in Costa Mesa on Friday afternoon in a flash mob-style demonstration.

Shortly after noon, the women, wearing red or blue sport bras and shorts, exited about five vehicles on the northbound 405 near the Bristol Street bridge next to South Coast Plaza.

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They joined hands and jogged in a line that at times stretched across four lanes of the freeway, stopping hundreds of cars behind them for about three minutes. Several car horns blared as the women moved north toward Bear Street.

A few women held signs reading "Unity." Others had the words "unity," "freedom" and "future" painted on their stomachs and backs. A man ran onto the freeway in front of the group to snap photos.

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Before the demonstration, the women gathered at Shiffer Park in Costa Mesa and then got into vehicles and rode onto the 405. Most of the women are from Orange County, according to an organizer.

Organizers declined to provide specifics about the motivation for the demonstration.

The timing coincided with rallies in cities across the nation this week protesting Donald Trump's victory in Tuesday's presidential election. In downtown Los Angeles, a group of anti-Trump protesters temporarily shut down the 101 Freeway on Wednesday night.

Organizers of Friday’s demonstration said part of the intent was to re-create an incident in which a man rode a skateboard by himself along the same stretch of the northbound 405. The ride was captured in a YouTube video, posted in 2008, titled “Skateboarder seizes the 405 Freeway!! Yeah Baby!”

On Friday, the women were aided by drivers who, after dropping off the group on the freeway, slowly followed them, further delaying traffic.

The women jogged several hundred yards before they exited the freeway below the Bear Street bridge and allowed traffic to continue.

Several drivers called police to report the women, but by the time California Highway Patrol officers arrived the group had dispersed, authorities said.

Twitter: @BradleyZint

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN

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