A noisy, colorful crowd of antiwar demonstrators, after shutting down the federal building Tuesday morning, caught police by surprise in the afternoon by invading the multi-laned San Francisco Bay Bridge and snarling the afternoon rush hour. Some 6,000 peaceful protesters, demanding diplomacy be continued to avert the looming Persian Gulf war, walked more than two miles through town and onto the Bay Bridge, blocking traffic for about two hours. About 100 were arrested.
There are no sidewalks or walkways on the bridge and it is not open to pedestrians.
Officials said the move took police by surprise and they began mass arrests of the demonstrators.
The temporary seizing of the bridge was the highlight of a day of generally but not always peaceful protests throughout the city and state that saw more than 500 people arrested, including 100 at the bridge.