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Bay Bridge's westbound lanes reopened after rush hour protest; 25 arrested

Twenty-five people were arrested Monday as authorities ended a protest on the Bay Bridge that brought rush hour traffic to a standstill.

The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert about 3:55 p.m., alerting motorists that the westbound side of the Bay Bridge was blocked just before the Yerba Buena Island tunnel.

Five cars were chained together across the multi-lane highway, with one sign reading, "Black Health Matters." Another sign stated, "Decriminalize Black." At its peak, about 30 people participated in the demonstration, CHP Officer Marc Johnston said.

All westbound lanes were reopened by 5:30 p.m., authorities said.

Officers took 25 people into custody and booked them on misdemeanor counts of  unlawful assembly, impeding free passage and committing a public nuisance, CHP Officer Vu Williams said.

Those arrested were expected to be booked into the San Francisco County Jail, cited and released, Williams said.

The demonstration was carried out by Black.Seed, which identifies itself as a "Black, queer liberation collective," according to a statement released by the Anti-Police Terror Project. 

The collective "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," according to the statement.

Aerial footage of the protest broadcast by the Bay Area station KGO-TV showed law enforcement detaining protesters and clipping the chains holding the cars together.

Dozens also chanted, "I believe that we will win. I believe that we will win." At least one protester held a sign that read, "Black Lives Matter."

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.


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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


6:52 p.m.: This article was updated with confirmation that 25 people were arrested in connection with the demonstration.

5:16 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from CHP Officer Marc Johnston.

5:05 p.m.: This article was updated to correct that protesters shut down only the Bay Bridge, not the Golden Gate Bridge.

This story was originally published at 4:55 p.m.