Pro-Palestine Protesters Released from Prison

( – Pro-Palestinian activists who blocked the Golden Gate Bridge on April 15 were let go from jail due to a failure of the local district attorney to file charging paperwork in their cases. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins explained that 26 people were arrested and charged with a slew of misdemeanors as well as a felony conspiracy charge.

The conspiracy charge necessitated a continued hold in the city’s jail, but only gave the DA 48 hours to finish the paperwork and file the charges officially. Jenkins complained that there wasn’t enough time to complete an investigation by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) nor properly file all the charges given the sheer volume of defendants involved. As such, the suspects were legally required to be let go.

Jenkins argued that she supports “free speech” in her statement on the subject and that she wants to make sure the defendants’ rights are “observed” and that they can share their perspective. She added that it’s imperative to “draw the line” when acts of free speech endanger the public. She mentioned a protest on the Bay Bridge earlier in the year as well as the recent Gold Gate blockade as examples where public safety must come first.

She added that her office was waiting for the CHP to finish its investigation so that the charges that are filed are fully informed and complete before going forward. Jenkins added that she anticipated the CHP to finish their investigations within days, while failing to indicate when she intended to file charges.

Pro-Palestinian protesters also blocked access to the Seattle-Tacoma Airport on April 15 resulting in 46 people being arrested. Around 3 p.m. local time protesters parked their vehicles such that the roadway leading to the Arrivals area was blocked off. There’s no indication as to whether or not the two groups were coordinating their actions or if they were independently organized.

Protesters have frequently taken to blocking traffic in recent years for a variety of issues. The tactic is often criticized as inspiring ire towards the cause instead of promoting sympathy and awareness.

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