The demonstration was part of an effort to #ReclaimMLK.
In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., who has a big fan of blocking bridges in civil protest, Black Lives Matter protesters took over San Francisco’s Bay Bridge, blocking traffic between Oakland and San Francisco on MLK Day. Demonstrators left their cars and swarmed the bridge, marching between cars, carrying banners that read “Black Health Matters” and “Decriminalize Black,” and chanting protest slogans.
The protest was organized by a black queer collective, Black.Seed, and the Anti-Police Terror Project, in an effort to reclaim King’s radical legacy, they say, and lodge a challenge to police brutality toward black communities.
“Historically, our people have had to take drastic and dramatic measures to highlight the systemic abuses that harm our communities,” Black.Seed wrote in a statement online. “51 years ago, those who came before us participated in direct action in Selma, Alabama, to speak out against the harms of racism and oppression. It is this very spirit of resistance that flows through our lives and actions, in the Black Out Friday, Black Brunches, and highway shutdowns of today.”
The statement included a list of demands that called for the resignation of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who has fortified police presence in the city and implemented a ban on nighttime protests since taking office, and the termination of officers involved in the deaths of Richard Perkins, Mario Woods, Yuvette Henderson, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, Alex Nieto, Demouria Hogg, Richard Linyard, and O'Shaine Evans.
Police arrested 24 people involved in the demonstration.