A typical Bay Area day, or holiday. Young people, some of them university students, shut down a major transport artery, the San Mateo Bridge (a several mile long causeway across the southern and wider portion of the San Francisco Bay) during the evening commute on Monday, 19 January 2015 – for some a holiday (Martin Luther King Day) but for many others a work day.
After visiting my aged parents in the East Bay, we were held up for one half hour as the roadway on the bridge was blocked only a few minutes before we would have reached that point on the bridge and been passed it. But, many drivers who got on the bridge or the highway leading to it in the westbound direction (from Hayward driving towards San Mateo) later in the “rush hour” were held up significantly longer, up to an hour or even 1 1/2 hours, or so the local news reported.
As the traffic ahead of us slowed to a stop, my first thought was there had been a smash-up on the road ahead of us. But, soon we noticed that the traffic had also ceased in the opposite direction on the bridge. Soon we saw a few young people running along the concrete cat walk at the right side edge of the bridge carrying cardboard home-made signs. We suspected some type of civil or uncivil unrest or protest in the distance. The eastbound lanes to our left (beyond a short concrete barrier) were freed up within several minutes.
Later, while watching local TV news programs, we heard that some of these protesters may have been Stanford University students. If this is true, they were too lazy to drive further up to the Bay Bridge or the Golden Gate Bridge to pull their juvenile stunt. Which dopey tenured professor suggested this to them? Or, is it possible these kids came up with the idea themselves? Not very original. The other major bridges in the Bay Area have been shut down by “protesters” in the past.
68 arrests – good. Perhaps these students had to hang out in a jail cell for a while before they got bailed out or were released.
It is good that the police and highway patrol were on scene pretty quickly for the sake of the young fools. The drivers/commuters heavily outnumbered them and there might have been some serious ass kickings done.
What was it all about?
On the local news, we saw that a helicopter had caught on film the protesters unrolling on the roadway a very large Palestine flag only visible from the air. (We had heard a helicopter above us while stuck on the bridge but had thought it might be a police helicopter and not a news helicopter.) These people were protesting the oppression of the Palestinians by Israel.
These young people who feel, or claim to feel, for the Palestinians many thousands of miles away, do not care about their fellow citizens right in their own communities. (We have already addressed Israel and Palestine in much earlier essays.) Let me just opine that if you are unhappy about something overseas in another country, then go protest at that country’s consulate or embassy, or at the UN in New York, or at various Federal Buildings (if you are unhappy with US policy). How many thousands of people lost part of their evening that night? Such myopic, self-centered wretches – these “protesters”. Perhaps, really, just bored college students.
Not having made any sacrifices in their own pampered lives thus far, these young people have no appreciation for the working people who were trying to get home or to evening appointments or to the airport for a flight or to a hospital to visit a sick relative during visiting hours.
There were some drivers who gave their remarks to local news media. Any comments by any irate drivers were not included in the news casts. (The Bay Area has some of the most politically correct – and thus biased – news reporters and news editors in the US. The local news is filtered to fit the liberal, “progressive” narrative. Bear in mind this is the metro area that gives the country Nancy Pelosi. Senators Boxer and Feinstein got their political start in the Bay Area also.) One young woman said that she had hoped to make her flight out of SF International Airport but that was now impossible. Another woman told of how her fuel was running out and that she feared having to call on her cell phone for help if her car thus failed.
Lack of character formation. Lack of self-discipline and self-control. What did we see in Ferguson, Missouri and a few other US cities in recent months?! And, when they do not get their way, many of these malcontents become violent and destroy property and assault other people.
I have participated in protests and demonstrations, not in college but in my adult life. Other like-minded individuals and myself have held signs along the public side-walk and passed out literature and engaged passersby in discussions on various social issues without blocking traffic and causing serious inconvenience and hardship to others.
When these inconsiderate young people get out of school, they better make sure they do not irritate mommy and daddy as they will likely need to live at (their parents’) home for years to come. Sorry to say, the jobs being created these days in the US (once an economic powerhouse) are temporary, part-time and/or low paying jobs. Upset by that? Thank the failed demigod, Obama!
And, what comes around goes around. One day these young people will be inconvenienced by something like this and miss a flight or arrive too late for an evening event or something important to them, and then they will see how they impacted others. Candidly: can’t say that I wish these losers a nice life.
Here are the remaining images. Eventually, the law enforcement officers were able to clear one lane of 3, so that the backed up traffic (backed up for miles in all 3 lanes as the protest blockage was not very far from the western terminus of the bridge) could begin to trickle out.
I did not speed up much at first so Lucy could snap some pics but these are still a little blurred. The young people were sitting against the concrete wall several feet beyond the police and are not visible.
Plenty of law enforcement officers on site.
Heads of a few of those arrested are barely visible just above the car’s side view mirror in this photo.
Breaking free now and increasing speed – no longer “oppressed” by those who were protesting oppression. We agreed that even though our evening had been shortened by 30 minutes we were still going to have a pleasant time of it. Now, we can move on to other topics in future posts.
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