Protesters on the Bay Bridge.

On Monday, protesters from an offshoot of Black Lives Matter shut down traffic for about 30 minutes on the westbound Bay Bridge. Twenty-five people were arrested after they chained themselves to vehicles that blockaded the bridge. The action was organized by Black.Seed, which describes itself as a “Black, queer liberation collective.” In a statement, the group said it shut down the bridge in solidarity with Martin Luther King Jr. and to take a stand against racism.

Guests:
Mia Birdsong, spokesperson, Black.Seed
Dan Brekke, blogger and online editor, KQED

  • Drago

    Far more blacks are killed by thug blacks than are killed by thug cops.
    I agree that militarization of cops is deeply disturbing and some bad cops are out of control.
    I don’t think most people would disagree with the idea that black lives matter, but how will marching in the street change the bigger problem of black on black violence?
    Do blacks actually believe that non-blacks don’t know that black on black violence is the bigger issue?

    • ES Trader

      Its a conspiracy financed by Koch Bros to discredit Blacks of course. thought everyone knew that !

      • Drago

        The Kochs are too busy discrediting themselves 😉

        • ES Trader

          guess you dont appreciate sarcasm

    • kpwn

      are ‘thug blacks’ to which you refer, employees of local governments?

      • Drago

        No I mean gang members etc. Career criminals.

  • Sean Dennehy

    I support the goals of BLM and as a different kind of racial minority, I want BLM to succeed. However, BLM insists on making decisions that will get the more enemies than allies. They have no goals except to disrupt the lives of other people. They’re disorganized. Where are the BLM voter drives? Where are the BLM efforts to get Black people into local governments in majority black areas? Why don’t they actually do things that help their causes rather than harming their causes?

  • And

    Not sure if I’m correct on this, but it seems like Black people are dwindling. With the flood of immigration over the last 10 years, rich and poor, more attention is spent on the new immigrants. More attention on kids from South America who suffered from criminal activity than spent on Black people who suffered here from years of bad legal policies like the war on drugs.

  • ES Trader

    What else is new ?

    “BLM” aka “Other Lives Don’t Matter” & its subsidiary; “Wah!Wah!Wah!,When I don’t Get aParticipation Award, I use “Race Card”, JadaPICKETSmith#Everyone Cringe

  • amyj1276

    I’m an active advocate of civil rights and women’s rights and equality in general, and BLM in particular, but my resolve and my support for even the most important issues to me actually WEAKENS when protesters work to make average people’s lives more difficult. It’s not just the ambulance example. People could have been heading to a funeral. A job. Places where it’s not so forgiving to be late or not arrive. Protesters who are completely disruptive and destructive, such as those who shut down BART or bridges, do not deserve the respect of people who are working very hard every day to make real changes and create real dialogue around important issues such as BLM.

    • Drago

      There’s a video of BLM protesters interrupting and screaming at students in a college library that made me wonder if BLM has been twisted into actually a racist movement.

      • kpwn

        Some backing certain causes adopt counter-productive tactics.
        There’s no single group of “BLM”, as there’s no single group of conservative anti-contraceptives Christians.

    • kpwn

      Blocking one lane, more than once, would accumulate more news attention,

      However, Republicans and ‘pragmatic democrats’ would have defunded that hypothetical ambulance and many more ambulances.

    • jc

      A quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. I appreciate on the tactics these activists used: “First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”

      Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” (http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/060.html)

      Secondly, do you know the protestors or what they do in their every day lives? Many of the folks involved in the BART and Bay Bridge shutdowns are full time community organizers who have dedicated their lives to the health and wellness of Black communities. The two groups of “protestors” and “those working hard every day to make real changes” are not mutually exclusive.

      • kpwn

        And note that MLK used the word “frustrating”. Obviously, being hung dead from a nearby tree is more than just frustrating
        However, I suspect that people of ill-will rarely misunderstand. (Ted Cruz, for example)

      • But the difference is that King picked targets that were engaged in racist actions. He did not target random people, he targeted the people who were responsible for injustice.

  • erictremont

    If anti-abortion or anti-gay marriage demonstrators had shut down the Bay Bridge, left wingers would not tolerate it for one minute. Among the thousands of drivers stuck on the bridge were working class folks of color who have to work on holiday weekends for their economic survival, I am pretty sure many of them are not amused when a bunch of petulant, self-indulgent nut jobs prevent them from getting back home after a hard day’s work. I’d like to see the CHP impose triple towing and impoundment fees on the demonstrators who chained their cars together, but given the prevailing attitude of appeasement towards left wing extremists (re: Alameda County District Attorney O’Malley dropped charges against BART demonstrators) I am not expecting that to happen.

    • kpwn

      Fire hoses, dogs, and gunshots in The Good Old Days. (As a caller mentioned, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Pettus_Bridge#Construction)

    • kpwn

      If anti-abortion or anti-gay marriage demonstrators had shut down the Bay Bridge, left wingers would not tolerate it for one minute.
      (Some) anti-contraceptistas shutdown clinics.
      Perhaps (some) BLM-ers should shutdown police stations.

    • <– This Left Winger may not be too enthusiastic about such an action, but many of us Lefties nonetheless feel it important to _tolerate_ opinions we don't agree with. You'll notice an awful lot of tolerance being paid by our Lefty President Obama to the Right Wing protesters who have taken up arms against the federal government in their ongoing occupation of a federal facility in Oregon.

      In contrast, our Lefty government in California cleared our bridge within hours, and still the right is whining about all the double standards.

  • Stella

    Seems BLM count when killed by police. There were 3 pics on the bridge. What are the 15 killed in SF and more around the bay area?

    These type of protests will continue because there’s no accountability. The BART protesters were not prosecuted. Threatened with jail time and/or fines will have all protesters consider where they will protest.

    The sense of entitlement is appalling. Protesters were inconvenience and actually treated like criminals by being handcuffed yesterday. Seems they want it both ways.

    • Drago

      I would suggest it’s a millenial thing, and not entitlement per se.

      This is Internet tròlling made real-life.

      It’s a “we’re going to pìss you off because it’s fun” approach.

    • kpwn

      bridge blocking attracted far more attention than just another lone law-abiding responsible 4 year old wounded by stray gunshots.
      So ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ is not always true.

  • De Blo

    These protesters/ terrorists from ‘Black Seed’ seem to be homophobic (they even used the highly offensive slur ‘q*eer’) and bigoted against the police who protect and serve us and against white people. As an actual minority (I am gay) that faces real discrimination, I am 100% against these ‘protesters’.

    • cj

      Queer is a term that has been broadly reclaimed by folks who identify across and beyond the LGBT spectrum since at least the 1980s… well over 25 years ago. It’s pretty surprising if you both live in the Bay Area and identify as gay, and yet aren’t aware of that. As an actual minority who faces real discrimination, I highly recommend you learn about the different ways that people who face discrimination have fought against it—including reclaiming once-derogatory slurs as terms of pride. Also, have you heard of Compton’s Cafeteria Riot? Stonewall? The police have been some of the most prominent—and least accountable—gay bashers in history.

      • De Blo

        The leading gay civil rights organization, the Human Rights Campaign, conducted a survey that showed that q*eer is offensive to 84% of gay people. It is an exclusionary, divisive, inaccurate, and offensive term.

  • Slug

    Is KQED now affiliated with BLM? Rachael Myrow’s kit-gloves treatment of her arrogant guest made my blood boil. I’m a liberal democrat and agree with the BLM mission to hold our police and politicians accountable regarding their actions in communities of color, but this bridge protest has set the movement back. You don’t make enemies of those who shouldn’t be your enemies.

    • Robert Thomas

      Perhaps so. Kid gloves are delicate leather garments made from the hides of kids – of juvenile goats.

  • Drago

    Sounds like you should be advising BLM.

  • kpwn

    caller (deliberately?) made interesting point. When Ammo[n] Bundy ‘protested’ at another government property, the media did not refer to the bundyites as terrorists, though they explicitly advertised their intent to use firearms.

  • Kristen

    When you start talking about totally defunding the police department, you have lost the reasonableness-test.

  • Robert Thomas

    Very illuminating.

    Ms Birdsong believes Oakland needs another new mayor. Isn’t that “I guarantee it” guy available?

    • es em

      lol! George Zimmerman was on NPR last week ENDORSING Mayor Libby Shaft. So BLM doesn’t really know what it wants…. They don’t have a cohesive argument as to why Libby Shaft needs to resign except “rising rents!”

  • es em

    That was disappointing. She advocating abusing and treating other humans poorly because of hundreds of years of discrimination. I am curious as to how advocating treating others bad will get others to treat you and your followers with more respect. You need to be the bigger person. If police brutality is killing your community, responding with harassment is not going to make things better, it will make things worse. Rachael Myrow, I could hear you cringing over the radio at some of the comments being said. You should have spoken up. especially when that lady spoke about it being ok to harass police or harass average citizens that are white. Very disappointing interview.

    • MonkInSF

      This is sure back-fire. BLM becomes OBLM, Only-BLM.

    • And

      I swear, opposing groups must hire this kind of fanatic to represent Black Lives Matter to make them look bad.

      • Could some of this be COINTELPRO controlled opposition stuff?

        • Ralph

          Another person said Birdsong is connected with Aspen Institute and if you ever listen to Alex Jones (who is sometimes right) that means she is fully owned by the 1-percenters. As in *Uncle Tom*

    • Niketana

      Rachel did speak up with her very first reply. After that she used the interviewer’s skill of asking the right questions both to allow her guest fair air time and to reveal who she is.

    • cj

      There’s absolutely no part of the interview in which Birdsong advocates abusing or harassing anyone. Direct action and inconvenience is not abuse or harassment. Good journalism means not misquoting interviewees—you say you’re disappointed in Rachael Myrow; fortunately, she didn’t do that. You did.

  • kpwn

    Inconveniencing ‘protestors’ should found a sports league. Then nobody would complain about their league’s twice weekly traffic and transit jams. (previous post landed in wrong location)

  • Thoughtjots

    as someone who commutes across a bay bridge on the daily for work, i have to say that an hour delay is the norm. I’m happy to see that for once it was for a good reason. demonstrations like these generate dialogue about important issues, like the use of excessive force by police officers against people of color, up to and including murder. as a tax payer, i don’t want my tax funds to support racist police officers, city employees who get away with horrible crimes with impunity. i support the black.seed protestors. i support demonstrations that raise the profile of the issue to national and international platforms – like this action did. maybe when more people pay attention, decision makers will start to make reforms that address the valid concerns of the community.

  • If they are mad at the police why don’t they protest the police?

    They would get just as much media attention if they chained themselves to the front of a police station to prevent cops from getting in or out.

  • Andrew Middleton

    People have been killed by the police officers that are paid for by the taxes of the citizenry to protect them, the murders have been caught on tape, the perpetrators are still found not-guilty if they even get to trial and it has been going on for DECADES. Sure, blocking a bridge might ruin lots of peoples’ day but what are these protestors supposed to do? Being polite hasn’t helped. The justice system hasn’t helped. The peaceful candle light vigils certainly haven’t helped. I’ve been in plenty of very large (100k+) peaceful protests that begot absolutely nothing. Are they supposed to ask politely forever? Sooner or later you get scared, angry, frustrated and mad as hell and stuff like bridge closures happen. I agree, it’s not an optimal outcome. If you want your life less inconvenienced by protests then you should all be working for a more just society. Societies are quieter when people don’t have to yell to be heard. It’s amazing that this doesn’t happen more often, it is a logical consequence of injustice.

    • MonkInSF

      What would be your suggestion to Asian students who were rejected by their dream schools simply because they are Asian.

  • Livegreen

    Well the moral of the story is very clear: Shut down freeways, break windows in Oakland or call for the end to all police and a majority elected Mayor & you’ll get coverage on KQED or in the EB Express. On top of it you’ll have nobody from any other POV, much less an opposing one.

    Actually bring change & effective policies on an incremental basis and you’ll get none.

    Way to support & incentivize extremists KQED!

    • MonkInSF

      Know-out is just a game. So they should not be prosecuted.

  • SomeoneToListenTo

    Once again, listeners/commenters DO NOT understand (as demonstrated from most comments below). Sad to hear/read, nonetheless, not much else to be expected except that most will simply have to continue to “suffer”.

  • Sean Bradshaw

    I feel like a black man said it best, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer, If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change.”

    That’s not to say that other people don’t need to change, but you can’t change other people by force, they have to do that themselves.

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