38 Pro-Palestinian protesters arrested after shutdown of Golden Gate Bridge, I-880 in Oakland: CHP

ByABC7 Bay Area Digital Staff and Cornell Barnard, Lena Howland KGO logo
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
26 protesters arrested on Golden Gate Bridge, causing commute chaos
Pro-Palestinian protesters blockaded the Golden Gate Bridge for hours, sending the Monday morning commute into chaos.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Pro-Palestinian protesters shut down the Golden Gate Bridge and I-880 in Oakland for hours on Monday as part of a worldwide economic blockade in solidarity with Gaza.

The California Highway Patrol said 38 people were arrested and face a variety of charges including unlawful assembly, refusal to comply with a lawful order, unlawful stop on a bridge, resisting arrest , false imprisonment and conspiracy.

Northbound I-880 in Oakland

VIDEO: Pro-Palestinian protesters shut down Oakland freeway; 12 arrested by CHP in East Bay protests

The first protest began at 6:15 a.m. on Northbound 880 at 5th Avenue. Then at 8:15 a.m., protesters shut down southbound lanes of 880 in Oakland. Twelve people were arrested.

The first protest Monday morning happened on northbound I-880 in Oakland at 5th Ave. and was reported around 6:15 a.m. Protesters brought barrels filled with concrete onto the highway and chained themselves to the barrels. Law enforcement had to cut through the barrels before they could arrest the protesters.

"We have to use jackhammers and saws to break into those barrels, we did everything we could. You can imagine how complicated that is," according to California Highway Patrol Chief Don Goodbrand with the CHP Golden Gate Division.

As of 1:15 p.m., all lanes of Northbound I-880 have re-opened. Seven protesters were arrested at this location, according to Chief Goodbrand.

Southbound Golden Gate Bridge

VIDEO: 26 protesters arrested on Golden Gate Bridge, causing commute chaos

Pro-Palestinian protesters blockaded the Golden Gate Bridge for hours, sending the Monday morning commute into chaos.

Pro-Palestinian protesters blockaded the Golden Gate Bridge for hours, sending the Monday morning commute into chaos.

The second protest in the Bay Area was reported around 7:55 a.m. causing traffic to back up for miles into Marin.

Authorities worked to detain protesters who chained themselves through tubes to other people inside of cars, in a "sleeping dragon" protest method.

"We're just trying to get home or work, everyone's just mad," said Aung Zin.

Mondays morning's commute turning into a 'Carmageddon' nightmare, after pro-Palestinian protesters blocked both lanes on the bridge, the demonstration closed the span for hours, leaving drivers like Aung Zin frustrated.

"I think this is the only way people will listen but at the same time, I wish there was a resolution around it," Zin said.

VIDEO: Projectiles fired at pro-Palestinian protesters after they tear down Fremont Tesla factory fence

Pro-Palestinian protesters marched to the Tesla factory in Fremont as part of a worldwide economic blockade in solidarity with Gaza.

Traffic was backed up for miles on southbound 101 through Marin County.

CHP officers were turning cars around at Alexander Avenue in Sausalito. Frustration was spilling over when a motorist was caught on a cell phone camera confronting protesters on the bridge.

Some folks say their health was at risk by the closure. Rem O'Donnely was late for surgery.

"I'm supposed to be at UCSF at 9:30am, if I don't make it by 1 PM, they will have to reschedule I'm supposed to have colon surgery," said O'Donnely.

Rachel McKim from Larkspur was late for her medical procedure.

"I'm headed to the city for stem cell replacement. They're frozen I have to get there before they thaw. I'm feeling frustrated, I support the right for people to protest but if It causes thousands of people disturbance, it isn't the right way to go about it," said McKim.

The CHP arrested 26 protesters, allowing the bridge to reopen by 12:15pm.

Southbound I-880 in West Oakland

Southbound I-880 closed at 8:15 a.m. as hundreds of protesters made their way onto the highway with banners. The third Bay Area protest was at 7th St. in West Oakland.

Chief Goodbrand said there were 300 protesters.

ABC7 News was there when CHP officers slowly walked the protesters off the highway and down the on-ramp.

SKY7 showed some protesters being detained by police, the CHP confirms five protesters from this group were arrested.

One protester said this is about drawing attention to the war in Gaza and pushing our local and federal officials to call for a permanent cease-fire.

They also want American tax dollars to stop funding support to Israel. One of many reasons why they chose tax day for this demonstration.

"I am very sorry for the people that are being killed because we decided to support a system that is absolutely wrong. We cannot provide guns to someone to kill children, period," said Emilio Pineda, Marin County resident.

VIDEO: CHP gives update after protesters shut down several Bay Area roadways

The California Highway Patrol gives update after Pro-Palestinian protesters shut down several Bay Area roadways

What are they protesting?

Organizers say these protests are a part of A15, a worldwide economic blockade in solidarity with Palestine and calling for an arms embargo and an end to U.S. taxpayer funding for Israel. Monday is the tax deadline for most Americans.

MORE: Why Iran attacked Israel and what comes next

The Oakland Economic Blockade Against Palestinian Genocide says they are protesting alongside 56 cities around the world.

Protests have blocked traffic in other major cities Monday morning, including Chicago at O'Hare Airport.

VIDEO: Around 80 protesters arrested after abandoning cars, blocking westbound Bay Bridge, CHP says

One of dozens arrested during the Bay Bridge protest was a mom that was stuck in traffic headed into San Francisco for work.

November 2023 Bay Bridge Protest

In November, protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza shut down the Bay Bridge during the APEC Summit.

In total 78 people were charged, but a case against these protesters has been dismissed.

Instead, the protesters accepted a diversion agreement, where they'll each have to do five hours of community service, and the group as a whole will pay about $4,500 in restitution.

PHOTOS: Bay Bridge shutdown to San Francisco protests for APEC 2023

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