The Black Health Matters movement seems to be gaining momentum in the United States.
Following a weekend of rallies and parades aimed at reclaiming Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of radicalism, scores of Black Lives Matter protesters descended on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge on Monday and blocked the traffic for nearly an hour.
In what one group leader called “a strong, courageous stand in solidarity with MLK,” more than 40 protesters parked their vehicles on the westbound ascent of the bridge and linked their vehicles with chains to obstruct the lanes. Some even chained their arms to the bridge.
“Today is the day when we reclaim MLK’s radical legacy,” said April Thomas, who had chained herself between two cars. “I’m out here for Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd, for my mother, myself, for Harriet Tubman.”
The activists also displayed a large sign that read “Black Health Matters.” Many people also held placards reading “Justice for Mario Woods” — a recent victim of police brutality in San Francisco.
“It was reclaiming King's radical legacy, so people aren't getting the sanitized 'I Have a Dream' legacy,” said protest spokesperson Mia Birdsong. “This disruption for motorists across the Bay Bridge is a small window into what black, brown and other minority groups go through each day.”
Campaigners from “Black Queer Liberation Collective” — more commonly known as Black.Seed — had reportedly planned to stay chained to the bridge for 96 minutes. They aimed to represent the 96 hours of action protests that took place in Oakland over the weekend. However, the protest lasted only an hour, according to the local media.
Thankful that there is people out here fighting for change #blackhealthmatter— Bobby Pocket$ (@bobbylejon) January 19, 2016
California Highway Patrol officers arrested 25 protesters from the Black.Seed on suspicion of public nuisance and unlawful assembly charges.
“Everyone cooperated with instructions,” said CHP Officer Vu Williams. “No force was used.”
Approx 25 protesters from Bay Bridge protest taken into custody. They will be transported and booked into the SF County jail shortly— CHP San Francisco (@CHPSanFrancisco) January 19, 2016