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San Mateo Bridge Reopens After Stanford Students Abandon Cars In Traffic For MLK Day Protest

(CBS SF) -- Over 100 Stanford students and community members demonstrating against police brutality temporarily shut down the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge Monday afternoon, snarling the evening commute.

The group made their way on eastbound and westbound lanes of state Highway 92 on the bridge at the high-rise around 4:50 p.m., CHP Officer Daniel Hill said.

The protesters had been dropped off by cars on westbound lanes and briefly made their way to both sides of the freeway, he said.

As of shortly after 5 p.m., eastbound lanes were reopened for motorists heading to Hayward but westbound lanes were still closed off for cars traveling to Foster City, Van Eckhardt said.

Drivers were seen turning around at the toll plaza and going the wrong way on the bridge as CHP tried to find tow trucks to take away abandoned cars left on the bridge by protesters. The bridge was reopened shortly before 5:30 p.m.

According to Silicon Shut Down's Twitter feed, a handful of students were arrested.

Demonstrators planned to block the westbound side of the bridge for 28 minutes to symbolize the face that every 28 hours a Black person is killed by a police officer, according to a press release by the student group Silicon Shut Down.

The group was given the opportunity to leave the scene peacefully, but 68 people who didn't comply with orders from officers were detained, Hill said.

As of about 6:10 p.m., the arrested protesters were still on the bridge waiting to be transported to San Mateo County Jail.

SM bridge, MLK Day protests
Protesters block traffic on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, January 19, 2015. (Chris Fillipi/CBS)

Two other westbound lanes remain closed until 6:40 p.m. but traffic remained heavy on the bridge, CHP officials said.

Earlier, a large crowd was able to stop BART service at the Coliseum BART station. The station reopened at about 4:30 p.m.

The disturbance was related to a protest scheduled for Monday that was dubbed the "Reclaim King's Legacy" march in which the protesters organized to link the civil rights legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with recent protests against police shootings of unarmed black people.


San Mateo Bridge Closure Protest
Drivers turn around in the toll plaza after protesters shut down the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge Monday night during MLK Day demonstrations. (CBS)



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