San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge shut by protest over Gaza

Pro-Palestinian protesters blocked traffic on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, trapping commuters trying to get into the city during the Monday morning commute. 

The California Highway Patrol closed traffic on the iconic span in both directions, as officers attempted to turn around vehicles trapped by the several dozen protesters carrying a banner that said “Stop the World for Gaza.” 

After a standoff of more than three hours, officers started arresting demonstrators who refused to clear the bridge, according to a CHP spokesperson.

The bridge closure caused a major traffic snarl for the route that connects Marin County to San Francisco, carrying an average of 112,000 vehicles a day. 

Another group of protesters in Oakland blocked the I-880 freeway, by chaining themselves to concrete-filled barrels. The action closed a heavily traveled access route from the Port of Oakland to the Bay Bridge, which connects the East Bay to San Francisco. 

Local news channels showed CHP officers and police appearing to use saws to break apart the barrels as the standoff stretched on for hours.

The Bay Area protests were part of a coordinated worldwide Pro-Palestinian action called A15, designed to coincide with the US tax deadline of April 15. Protest coordinators said their goal is to “disrupt and block economic and logistical hubs and the flow of capital.”

In Chicago, several pro-Palestine demonstrators were arrested after blocking traffic to O’Hare International Airport. In New York, protesters disrupted traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge. –BLOOMBERG