MLK protesters shut down California's Bay Bridge; 25 arrested

By Amy R. Connolly   |   Jan. 19, 2016 at 5:39 AM

OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Dozens of demonstrators were arrested after they stopped traffic on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in protest of police violence and a demand for racial equality.

The California Highway Patrol arrested 25 people Monday after they chained themselves and their vehicles across the westbound span of the Bay Bridge during afternoon rush-hour traffic. Bridge traffic was stopped for about 30 minutes, backing up vehicles for miles on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The protesters, from Black Seed, chained themselves to the bridge to bring attention to racial injustice, said Mia Birdsong, a protest organizer and spokeswoman.

"It was reclaiming King's radical legacy, so people aren't getting the sanitized 'I Have a Dream' legacy," Birdsong said "This disruption for motorists across the Bay Bridge is a small window into what black, brown" and other people go through each day.

The highway patrol said the protesters were arrested on charges of false imprisonment, public nuisance, unlawful assembly and obstructing free passage.

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