|- Golden Gate Bridge|
Bi-coastal peace actions on Memorial Day weekend brought hundreds out to protests at the Golden Gate Bridge and MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.
Nearly 200 people took part in a permitted march across the Golden Gate Bridge on Saturday, May 25. The All People's Coalition to Stop U.S. Terror and Occupation had permission to march across the bridge - without signs, banners or noisemakers - from noon to 2 p.m. Thorough searches for the contraband protest props by a riot-equipped squadron of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) delayed the start of the march.
As marchers neared the north end of the bridge about 1:35 p.m., officers in riot gear blocked the footpath and ordered everyone to turn around and leave the bridge to the south. Many marchers balked, because the permit had not expired, and the north end of the bridge lay much closer than the south. CHP quickly shut down all northbound, and later even the southbound lanes, backing up traffic for miles.
Police pushed south into the marchers with pepper spray and batons, arresting more than two dozen people for blocking the walkway. The crowd was forced all the way off the south end of the bridge.
Among 34 people arrested that day was 11-year-old Sophia Ibrahim, a Palestinian girl who was booked on a felony charge of assaulting an officer. The marchers had already left the bridge yet were still being herded through a parking lot, back to the rally site at Crissy Field. Ibrahim, her younger sister and older brother were among several marchers nearest the corralling cops. She told police not to touch her as they physically pushed the group along, and continued shouting "Free Palestine." When she again told a sergeant not to push her, police claimed she also touched the officer's helmet. Three helmeted officers reacted, grabbing the tall youngster from the crowd, throwing her to the ground and leaving her face down in the grass, handcuffed behind her back. Her older brother Musa was later cited for felony child endangerment when he inquired about his sister in custody.
All of those arrested were released with citations, and all but Ibrahim's charges have been dismissed when they came before the court. Her initial court date was postponed, and no new date has been set.