Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 17, 2024
"The exercise of free speech cannot compromise public safety" DA Jenkins Defends Charging Protestors on Golden Gate BridgeSource: CommonSenseiSFp

Bay Area traffic ground to a halt Monday as activists demanding an end to U.S. support for actions in Gaza shut down key transit routes, taking over the Golden Gate Bridge and a section of the I-880 in Oakland, Hoodline San Francisco previously reports. The protestors' blockade, featuring concrete-filled barrels and chains, prompted a significant law enforcement response to reopen roads and make arrests.

The demonstration on the iconic bridge involved 26 arrests; protesters there used vehicles linked with chains to obstruct the southbound traffic, as reported by San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, who praised local law enforcement for a peaceful resolution to the incident. However, traffic remained at a standstill, trapping hundreds of people and complicating commutes considerably during the morning rush hour. Similarly, Oakland's I-880 saw protestors chaining themselves, which led to backups as far as the coliseum, activists with their clear message, "Stop the World for Gaza," aimed to disrupt the flow of capital to address their concerns about the environment and the conflict overseas.

An updated statement from the California Highway Patrol cited an elaborate setup by protestors, who deployed disruptive devices, including 55-gallon drums filled with cement, intimately complicating the restoration of traffic flow on critical Bay Area freeways. "The various charges being filed are as follows: 407 PC - Unlawful assembly, 409 PC - Remaining at an unlawful assembly, 2800(a) VC - Refusal to comply with lawful order, 22500(k) VC - Unlawful to stop on a bridge, 148(a) (1) PC - Resisting/delaying an officer, 21960 VC - Unlawful for a pedestrian to be on a freeway, 182(a) PC – Conspiracy to commit a crime, 236 PC – False imprisonment," was detailed by the CHP on their Facebook page.

In response to the gridlock and arrests, Jenkins stated, "We need to make individualized assessments on each person arrested to determine what charges apply to them," underscoring that the investigation must continue.