Gaza protests block Golden Gate Bridge, Oakland highway

Gaza protests block Golden Gate Bridge, Oakland highway
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Protesters against the American response to the Israel-Hamas war shut down a pair of freeways in the Bay Area during the Monday morning rush hour, including blocking traffic on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

Southbound U.S. Highway 101 across the bridge and northbound Interstate 880 in nearby Oakland were blocked starting around 7:30 a.m. PDT on Monday, California Highway Patrol said. Protesters carried signs reading “Stop Arming Israel” and “Bay Area Demands No Murder for Profit,” in reference to American military support for Israel.

The Oakland protest was part of the “A15-Economic Blockade for a Free Palestine,” a national movement that also blocked streets in central Philadelphia and an interstate near Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Monday.

“In halting traffic along this route we seek to stop the movement of millions of dollars in daily capital flow, much of which, headed to and from the Port of Oakland, the Oakland Airport, and the nearby rail yards directly and indirectly supports the ongoing genocide in Gaza,” organizers wrote Saturday in a Facebook post.

Protesters targeted Tax Day as the impetus for the demonstrations as public opinion of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza falls among Americans. About one-third of Americans and a majority of Democrats said Israel has “gone too far” in its military campaign in Gaza, according to a poll last week.

The Israeli campaign has leveled much of Gaza with consistent airstrikes since October, when a Hamas attack killed more than 1,100 Israelis. More than 33,000 Palestinians have been killed since, with aid organizations and the United Nations warning that famine is beginning to set in among the about 2 million civilians in Gaza.

The Biden administration has backed Israel in the conflict, but has pushed back against its strong military campaign. President Biden has repeatedly warned the Israeli government against an invasion of Rafah, the last remaining settlement in southern Gaza that has not been assaulted by the Israeli military.

Support for military aid for Israel remains bipartisan in Congress — especially after an Iranian attack on the country Saturday — though an increasing number of Democrats have called for conditions to the aid to ensure Israel commits to supporting humanitarian aid and limits civilian casualties.

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