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Lawyers for Bay Bridge 78 Call on Court to Dismiss Charges in Interest of Justice

The Center for Protest Law & Litigation at the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund filed a motion in San Francisco’s superior court on February 23 on behalf of the Bay Bridge 78 calling for the court to dismiss the charges for their activism challenging the U.S. government’s unwavering support for Israel’s genocidal siege on Gaza. The Motion asks for dismissal in the “interests of justice,” recognizing that the protestors acted out of conscience to stop their government’s complicity and facilitation of the raging slaughter of Palestinians.  

Photo by Brooke Anderson

Since the protestors’ arrests for demonstrating and temporarily blocking traffic on the Bay Bridge back in November, the death toll in Gaza has more than doubled, with more than a million Palestinians forced to flee into Rafah, a small city on Gaza’s southern border that Israel now plans to invade. The motion details the unwavering support of the U.S. government in arming and funding the current attacks and the historic role of U.S. protestors in changing their government’s actions to rights its wrongs in times of great conflict. 

“Israel’s bombing is the most destructive bombardment in modern history and has destroyed critical civilian infrastructure throughout Gaza – leveling hospitals, schools, places of worship, universities, refugee camps, and UN safe havens, shattering almost all other essential attributes of a civil society, and destroying or damaging 70 percent of all housing in Gaza,” stated CPLL’s senior counsel Rachel Lederman in the motion. 

As the U.S. government continues to unflinchingly fund Israel’s brutal war on the Palestinian people, the International Court of Justice and the United States District Court for the Northern District of California have warned that Israel’s military actions contain characteristics of genocide. 

The motion urges the court to recognize that throughout U.S. history, protests, including disruptive demonstrations, have been a pivotal tool for demanding social and policy change. 

“The Bay Bridge 78 were taking actions of conscience to stop genocide by calling attention to their government’s facilitation of it and demanding an end and change in policy. The temporary inconvenience to motorists on the Bay Bridge, on a day when traffic delays were expected, pales in comparison to the mass slaughter, maiming, starvation, and destruction which continue to be inflicted on the 2.3 million people of Gaza with U.S. weapons and tax dollars. Protesting genocide serves the public interest. There is no public interest to be served by proceeding with this wasteful prosecution,” the motion states. 

Earlier this month, the legal team sent a letter to District Attorney Brooke Jenkins raising alarm over racist, anti-Palestinian statements made by a member of the San Francsico D.A.’s office and the D.A. herself and calling for charges to be dropped over their bias. 

Read the motion here.