Black Lives Matter Demonstrators Block Bay Bridge; Dozens Arrested

YERBA BUENA ISLAND (CBS SF) — All lanes of the Bay Bridge reopened about an hour and a half after protesters shut down blocked all westbound traffic just east of Treasure Island Monday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Protesters announced just before 4 p.m. they had shut down Bay Bridge traffic heading into San Francisco. They posted photos of several protesters chained to cars stopped across the bridge.

Members of protest groups Black Seed and the Black Queer Liberation Collective took responsibility for the protest in a statement, citing recent police shootings.

ALSO READ: Civil Rights Lawyer Calls For Probe Into SFPD Use-Of-Force Procedures After Fatal Shooting

“We are here to move towards an increase in the health and wellbeing of all Black people in Oakland & San Francisco,” the groups wrote in a statement.

They were demanding divestment of city funds in policing, investment in affordable housing, the resignation of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, the termination of San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr and Oakland police Chief Sean Whent and the termination of police officers involved in several recent shootings.

From the group’s press release:

For the second year in a row, the Anti-Police Terror Project (APTP) put out a call for 96 Hours of Direct Action to reclaim Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s radical legacy and take a stand against anti-Black racism and terrorism. In a courageous display of solidarity and the spirit of MLK, Black.Seed, a Black, queer liberation collective, has shut down the Bay Bridge as a show of resistance to a system that continues to oppress Black, Queer, Brown, Indigenous and other marginalized people throughout the Bay Area.

As of about 4:30 p.m. the protesters had been cleared from three lanes of the bridge and traffic was moving again, though delays will likely persist as the 30-minute closure caused massive backups, according to the CHP.

25 protesters on the Bay Bridge were arrested. Several were seen handcuffed and seated on the roadway waiting to be taken away.

All 25 protesters were booked into the San Francisco County Jail and charged with misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment, creating a public nuisance, and obstructing free passage.

The CHP was aware of protest plans and had crews staged at the toll plaza, but wasn’t able to prevent the shutdown.

“They were able to get up on that bridge and they were able to control those lanes,” Officer Vu Williams of the CHP said.

Another protest shut down the off-ramp to Interstate Highway 80 in Emeryville earlier Monday afternoon. That off-ramp remained closed Monday afternoon, according to the CHP.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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