December 2, 2023

Chaining themselves to automobiles and unfurling banners, protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza sought world consideration Thursday by shutting down the Bay Bridge and snarling visitors for miles as a number of the world’s strongest leaders gathered just some miles away.

The protesters saved morning commuters in westbound lanes east of Treasure Island stranded for hours in what turned the most important disruption but tied to the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation summit of world leaders in San Francisco. The huge convention has attracted demonstrators for myriad causes as practically two dozen heads of state — together with President Joe Biden and Chinese language President Xi Jinping — meet for San Francisco’s largest gathering of world leaders since World Battle II.

Authorities arrested at the very least 80 individuals through the protest that started round 8 a.m. when organizers blocked visitors and laid out huge banners studying “cease the genocide” and “no U.S. army support to Israel.”

Elsa Santos and her kids look ahead to law enforcement officials to clear protesters off the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge throughout an indication towards the APEC summit on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, in San Francisco. Santos was caught for a number of hours whereas making an attempt to take her children to high school. (AP Photograph/Noah Berger) 

Of their Oct. 7 assaults in Israel, Hamas militants killed round 1,200 individuals and took some 240 others hostage. Israel responded with airstrikes and a floor offensive in Hamas-ruled Gaza, which Gaza’s well being ministry says have killed greater than 11,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of them ladies and kids.

Movies posted to social media confirmed some protesters chaining themselves to automobiles parked alongside the roadway. Others deserted their automobiles and tossed their keys into the bay, in accordance with California Freeway Patrol Commander Ezery Beauchamp. Authorities towed at the very least 29 automobiles from the bridge earlier than re-opening all lanes minutes earlier than midday.

Protesters hailed the demonstration as a vital step to place stress on Biden and different world leaders to finish Israel’s siege of Gaza.

“The group of the Bay Space was being very specific in the way in which they had been shutting down a essential artery of our group, to say that the Bay Space doesn’t assist genocide,” mentioned Rami Abdelkarim, a 24-year-old San Franciscan and spokesperson for the Palestinian Youth Motion.

Till Thursday, most protests remained inside San Francisco’s metropolis limits, or close to the famed Filoli Property, the place Biden joined Xi earlier this week for the leaders’ first assembly in the US since 2017.

But in a shift, Thursday’s bridge shutdown appeared to have little impact on the APEC attendees themselves — most of whom had been staying at resorts within the metropolis — however carried an outsized affect on commuters making an attempt to get to work.

Caught for hours, motorists posted movies to social media of a backup that spanned practically the complete size of the japanese span of the Bay Bridge, turning a bustling commute that usually strikes in matches and begins each morning right into a standstill. Some individuals complained about lacking work. Others took to social media to ask for meals, however some appeared to welcome the headache after studying that organizers had been displaying assist for Palestinians.

The protest triggered points far past the Bay Bridge. The supply of transplant organs was delayed because of the visitors jam, in accordance with a College of California, San Francisco, spokesperson. Regardless of the postponed supply, no hostile results had been anticipated for individuals who later acquired the organs.

Demonstrators clash with police as arrests are made after shutting down the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge in conjunction with the APEC Summit taking place Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Demonstrators conflict with police as arrests are made after shutting down the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge along side the APEC Summit going down Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, in San Francisco. (AP Photograph/Noah Berger)