Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Community & Society
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Published on April 15, 2024
Activists Shut Down Golden Gate Bridge and I-880 in Oakland to Protest U.S. Role in Gaza ConflictSource: CommonSenseiSF/X

Monday's tax day was met with more than just the usual rush to file taxes as protesters in Oakland and San Francisco took to key transit routes to voice their discontent. The Golden Gate Bridge and a portion of the I-880 were effectively shut down by activists demanding an end to U.S. support for what they describe as genocide in Gaza. The blockade caused significant traffic jams and delays, complicating commutes across the area.

Starting early in the morning, demonstrators chained themselves to barrels and brought northbound lanes of I-880 to a standstill near downtown Oakland. The SFist reported that the protest kicked off around 6:30 am, with traffic backups extending past the Coliseum. Those protests were accompanied by a banner reading, "A15 Economic Protest for Free Palestine." A simultaneous blockade occurred on the Golden Gate Bridge, where around 60 protesters disrupted the southbound lanes with a clear message—"Stop the World for Gaza."

The California Highway Patrol was quick to respond, but the disruptions carried on throughout the morning. The KRON4 news outlet indicated that sidewalks were also closed to bikes and pedestrians, with no immediate estimate for reopening. In response to the chaos, public transit agencies like BART and SF Bay Ferry were suggested as alternatives, though buses crossing the bridge also suffered from the protests.

Details provided by a Facebook post from the A15 activists revealed that seven protesters had locked themselves into concrete barrels, significantly complicating the CHP's efforts to clear the blockade. They aimed to highlight the strategic economic impact by blocking I-880, a major corridor for freight traffic. Protesters claimed this standstill was meant to stop the movement of millions of dollars in capital flow, pointing to the indirect support this provides to the conflict in Gaza and the environmental burdens placed on Black and Latinx communities in Oakland.

Additional actions by the group Code Pink were planned later in the day at UN Plaza and Market and Hyde streets in San Francisco, while another by A15 targeted the Tesla Factory in Fremont. As these coordinated protests unfold, the effect on Bay Area commerce and transit remains to be seen, with further delays and disruptions expected.