Remember when Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders linked arms and blocked bridges and freeways, chanting “Fuck your commute!” while people were tied up in traffic for hours?
Yeah, me neither.
From The Stanford Daily:
Monday afternoon, Stanford students and community members shut down the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge in support of the Ferguson Action national demands, which include the demilitarization of local law enforcement and the repurposing of law enforcement funds to support community-based alternatives to incarceration.
According to Silicon Shut Down’s Twitter feed, 68 people were arrested in total. According to an email sent out to the Stanford community, 57 people were released and 11 have been sent to jail.
During the demonstration, participants engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience and attempted to block the westbound side of the bridge for 28 minutes to symbolize the fact that every 28 hours, a black person is killed by a police officer or vigilante, stated a press release from Silicon Shut Down, a collective of students that “organize in West Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and the Silicon Valley against state-sanctioned violence (police brutality) and other forms of systemic oppression,” according to their website.
The most obvious immediate reactions among the drivers who were stuck in traffic were puzzlement and anger. One man complained that the protest was lengthening a commute that was already an hour each way.
Additionally, during the demonstration, students held banners calling attention to the violence committed against black communities as well as the Palestinian and Mexican flags as an act of public solidarity with victims of state-sponsored and U.S.-sponsored violence in Mexico and Palestine.
“Combating the triplets of racism, militarism and materialism was one of the biggest legacies King left us,” said Bailey in a public statement. “We proudly carry the Palestinian flag as we call on Stanford to divest from human rights violations in the occupation and related state violence in the U.S. The recent trip of Black Lives Matter and Ferguson representatives to Palestine signifies these movements are coming together on a global scale.”
Protesters chose to inconvenience the weekend commute in order to remind Silicon Valley that “it can’t ignore oppression in the midst of its own comfort.”
“We chose to inconvenience the weekend commute because the status quo is deadly to the black and brown peoples of this country and can no longer be tolerated,” said participant Maria Diaz ’17. “We are honoring MLK’s legacy by forcefully reminding Silicon Valley that, decades after Martin Luther King, black lives, and brown lives, and the lives of all oppressed people, still matter.”
Fun times down on Leland’s farm. What wild stunt will these crazy college kids think of next? Nothing says “I’m down with the struggle” like a bunch of kids from one of the most privileged elite universities in the world blocking rush hour traffic.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the SF Bay area, the San Mateo Bridge crosses the bay about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose, from a few miles below Oakland Coliseum on the east side to few miles below SFO on the west.
The seven mile span connects what is known as the East Bay with the Peninsula and averages about 93,000 vehicles a day. A lot of those commuters using the bridge are not wealthy librul elites, they are wage slaves who trade long commutes for affordable housing outside the Bay Area.
If you’re looking to win the hearts and minds of the working class, that’s not how you do it. If you want to incite road rage, your odds of success are much higher. Seriously, it’s like these idiots are trying to fail on purpose.