UNITED STATES NEWS

San Francisco protesters who blocked bridge to demand cease-fire will avoid criminal proceedings

Mar 14, 2024, 6:08 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Seventy-eight protesters were ordered to do five hours of community service and pay restitution to avoid criminal proceedings for allegedly blocking traffic on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for hours in November to demand a cease-fire in Gaza, prosecutors said.

The Nov. 16 protest came as San Francisco was hosting President Joe Biden and other world leaders for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. Protesters calling for a cease-fire have also blocked major roadways in cities including Los Angeles, New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

“This is a victory not only for those exercising their right to protest a genocide being fueled by their tax dollars, but for the growing global movement demanding freedom for the Palestinian people,” Aisha Nizar, one of the protesters, said in a news release. “We emerge from this case even stronger and more united in our commitment to one another and to the people of Palestine.”

About 200 protesters participated in the San Francisco demonstration during the global trade summit, and they blocked all lanes of traffic into San Francisco on the bridge’s upper deck, with some drivers tossing their keys into the bay. Eighty people were arrested, and 29 vehicles were towed. Protesters demanded that Biden call for an immediate cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas.

The 80 suspects faced charges of false imprisonment, refusing to comply with a peace officer, unlawful public assembly, refusing to disperse and obstruction of a street, sidewalk or other place open to the public. Prosecutors dropped one case for insufficient evidence, and another person declined the court’s offer for a pre-trial diversion program.

The remaining 78 accepted the court’s offer, which will include each person paying a to-be-determined restitution amount to someone who needed to be evacuated from the bridge, according to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

“We remain committed to ensuring that San Francisco is a safe city for everyone who lives and enters our city,” District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a statement. “We will continue to ensure that appropriate avenues for the expression of free speech and social advocacy exist and are protected in San Francisco. I truly believe that we can achieve engaging in free expression while maintaining the safety of our communities.”

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors in January approved a resolution calling for an extended cease-fire in Gaza that condemned Hamas as well as the Israeli government and urged the Biden administration to press for the release of all hostages and delivery of humanitarian aid. Dozens of other U.S. cities have approved similar resolutions that have no legal authority but reflect pressure on local governments to speak up on the Israel-Hamas war.

More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, the territory’s Health Ministry says. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its count, but it says women and children make up two-thirds of the dead. About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in southern Israel during the Oct. 7 attack that began the war. Around 250 people were abducted, and Hamas is believed to still be holding about 100 hostages.

United States News

Associated Press

‘Catch-and-kill’ to be described to jurors as testimony resumes in hush money trial of Donald Trump

NEW YORK (AP) — A longtime tabloid publisher was expected Tuesday to tell jurors about his efforts to help Donald Trump stifle unflattering stories during the 2016 campaign as testimony resumes in the historic hush money trial of the former president. David Pecker, the former National Enquirer publisher who prosecutors say worked with Trump and […]

7 minutes ago

Associated Press

America’s child care crisis is holding back moms without college degrees

AUBURN, Wash. (AP) — After a series of lower-paying jobs, Nicole Slemp finally landed one she loved. She was a secretary for Washington’s child services department, a job that came with her own cubicle, and she had a knack for working with families in difficult situations. Slemp expected to return to work after having her […]

10 minutes ago

Several hundred students and pro-Palestinian supporters rally at the intersection of Grove and Coll...

Associated Press

Pro-Palestinian protests sweep US college campuses following mass arrests at Columbia

NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia canceled in-person classes, dozens of protesters were arrested at Yale and the gates to Harvard Yard were closed to the public on Monday as some of the most prestigious U.S. universities sought to diffuse campus tensions over Israel’s war with Hamas. The various actions followed the arrest last week of […]

2 hours ago

Ban on sleeping outdoors under consideration in Supreme Court...

Associated Press

With homelessness on the rise, the Supreme Court weighs bans on sleeping outdoors

The Supreme Court is wrestling with major questions about the growing issue of homelessness as it considers a ban on sleeping outdoors.

3 hours ago

Arizona judge declares mistrial in case of rancher who shot migrant...

Associated Press

Arizona judge declares mistrial in the case of a rancher accused of fatally shooting a migrant

An Arizona judge declared a mistrial in the case of rancher accused of killing a Mexican man on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Trial opens for former Virginia hospital medical director accused of sexual abuse of ex-patients

NEW KENT, Va. (AP) — The former longtime medical director of a Virginia hospital that serves vulnerable children used physical examinations as a “ruse” to sexually abuse two teenage patients, a prosecutor said Monday, while the physician’s attorney “adamantly” denied any inappropriate conduct. The trial of Daniel N. Davidow of Richmond, who for decades served […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

San Francisco protesters who blocked bridge to demand cease-fire will avoid criminal proceedings