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Over 150 Protesters Arrested After Halting Amtrak Train, Traffic On I-80 In Berkeley

BERKELEY (CBS SF) -- The California Highway Patrol has announced that it arrested more than 150 protesters in Monday's standoff that blocked traffic in both directions on Interstate Highway 80 in Berkeley for about 90 minutes.

While demonstrators blocked traffic on both sides of Interstate 80, another group stood and sat on tracks, forcing an Amtrak train to stop at its Berkeley station last night around 8:30 p.m. As of 3:45 a.m., Capitol Corridor trains and San Joaquin trains are again operating, Amtrak officials said.

A woman also went into labor while stuck in the traffic jam created by protesters blocking Interstate 80  shortly after 9:30 p.m.

VIDEO: 911 Dispatch Call Of Woman Going Into Labor

CHP officers attempted to clear the highway of demonstrators and were met with violence, including assaults on officers with rocks and other objects, CHP officials said. Officers were able to stop the westward movement of protesters on I-80 at Powell Street and CHP officials report that the freeway reopened about 10 p.m.

The protest started before 8 p.m. in Berkeley and drew upwards of 1,500 people who marched on University Avenue before entering the highway.

The CHP says it respects the right of people to peacefully assemble and demonstrate, but "the freeway is not the place to express one's opinions."

Berkeley police said of the nine people arrested in the "relatively peaceful" protest Monday night, one is a juvenile.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats she is unaware of any looting or damage to property in the city. She also said there are no reports of injuries to Berkeley police officers or community members.

Before those arrests, protesters staged a peaceful sit-in at the Berkeley Police Department.

The protest, a continuation of several in the Bay Area over the past few nights, was in response to a New York grand jury's decision on Wednesday to not indict a white police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man.

It's likely protesters will be back tonight.


TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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