Dozens of Stanford students arrested after protest shuts down Bay Area bridge

Several dozen demonstrators identifying as Stanford students were arrested Monday night after they shut down traffic for more than an hour on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge.

Just before 5 p.m., at least 50 people lined up across the bridge, which traverses the San Francisco Bay, said California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Peter Van Eckhardt.

The seven-mile bridge has no pedestrian access, so demonstrators were dropped off by drivers that continued onward, Van Eckhardt said.

At one point, the crowd -- some of whom donned Stanford sweatshirts -- blocked both directions of traffic, but CHP officers corralled the group toward the westbound direction.


The group identified itself as Silicon Shutdown, a collective of Stanford students organizing against police brutality and oppression, according to its website and Twitter account. At one point, protesters unrolled a large Palestinian flag on the bridge.

They held up traffic on the westbound side for 28 minutes, a time period chosen to symbolize that “every 28 hours, a black person is killed by law enforcement or vigilantes,” according to a press release posted on Silicon Shutdown’s website.

“We chose to inconvenience the weekend commute because the status quo is deadly to the black and brown peoples of this country and can no longer be tolerated,” participant Maria Diaz, a member of Stanford’s class of 2017, said in the publicly posted statement.

The CHP arrested 68 people on suspicion of disorderly conduct and blocking access to public land, according to CHP Officer Daniel Hill.

All lanes on the westbound side were reopened by 6:50 p.m.

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office provided a bus to help transport those detained.

As of 9 p.m., an unknown number of protesters had been cited and released, Hill said.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.


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