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Bay Bridge protest stalls San Francisco traffic: What to know about the reopening

Pro-Palestinian protestors shut down the Bay Bridge for four hours with a protest, leading to 50 arrests and 15 cars towed.

A pro-Palestinian protest on Thursday morning shut down the Bay Bridge for four hours, affecting San Francisco and Oakland commuters. The protest closed all westbound lanes on the bridge's eastern span just before the morning rush hour, causing significant delays for those heading into San Francisco. The bridge reopened shortly before noon Pacific time.

The California Highway Patrol reported that 50 people were arrested in the protest and 15 cars were towed. It is unclear whether the protesters will face charges, as this is decided by the district attorney's office. The closure lasted approximately four hours, with the protest itself lasting until noon Eastern time when dispersal orders were issued and arrests began.

The demonstrators were calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, drawing attention to the alleged war crimes occurring in Gaza. The protest aimed to focus the Biden administration's attention on the situation and end the ongoing conflict. President Joe Biden was visiting the city for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, and the protest aimed to disrupt business as usual.

Similar protests have occurred since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7, including a violent protest outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters and a peaceful rally in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of thousands of pro-Israel supporters gathered on the National Mall this week to demonstrate for peace.

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