Excerpt from 48 Hills | Read the full story here.
In a highly unusual move that could easily backfire, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins is charging 80 protesters who she says stopped traffic on the Bay Bridge with potentially serious crimes.
Among the charges are False Imprisonment, which I have never seen in a civil disobedience protest.
In fact, I’ve been covering CD protests (and way back in the day, participating in them) for more than 40 years, and it’s hard to remember any time when nonviolent activists went to trial on these types of charges.
“It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve seen such a large group charged on one complaint like this,” Rachel Lederman, senior counsel at the Center for Protest Law and Litigation, told me.
People also said that about Critical Mass, the somewhat anarchic bicycle ride that interfered with car traffic the last Friday of every month in SF for many years. It’s now seen as an important part of local history and a factor in the city’s moves to make San Francisco a more bike-friendly place.
But those are questions of political tactics. This is now a matter of law—and I don’t see how Jenkins, who is already clogging the courts with drug cases, is going to make it work.
Supporters of the protesters showed up in large numbers at Superior Court this morning to show solidarity with the first group getting arraigned. Other groups are spread out through the rest of the week, so the actions are scheduled to continue all week long.