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Hundreds march in fourth day of protests in California
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of protesters angered at the killing of unarmed black men by white police officers marched through downtown Berkeley streets, briefly blocking traffic on a state highway, and delaying metro and train services in the area as protests continued in Northern California.
Organizers of a protest planned for Wednesday morning in Oakland said they expect hundreds of white people to come out and help shut down a federal building.
"As white people, we are outraged by the constant and ongoing violations against black people's lives from Ferguson to Oakland to San Francisco to Cleveland to Staten Island," said Jason Wallach of Showing Up for Racial Justice, one of the organizations involved in the demonstration expected to be replicated in 27 cities.
In Berkeley, protesters stopped at City Hall late Tuesday, where a city councilman addressed the crowd and said he will ask for an investigation into police response to the protest on Saturday, when the latest wave of demonstrations began.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit downtown Berkeley and McArthur stations were closed as a precaution, and Amtrak train service was suspended between the Oakland Coliseum station stop and Richmond because of the protest. A Berkeley City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday night was canceled after threats to disrupt it, said Mayor Tom Bates.
The crowd, which was much smaller than the one on Monday, briefly shut down state Route 23, which connects Berkeley to Oakland.
A California Highway Patrol official said 80 percent off its available staff would be deployed to monitor the protest in Berkeley on Tuesday after a crowd of about 1,500 blocked all lanes of Interstate 80 and blocked an Amtrak train Monday night.
The agency arrested 223 people Monday on suspicion of resisting arrest, obstructing police and other charges, said Ernie Sanchez, assistant chief of the CHP's Golden Gate Division. Berkeley police arrested another nine people.
Those arrested face bails of up to $50,000, and many remain in custody, he added.
"The CHP respects the public's right to gather and demonstrate, but it needs to be done in a safe manner," Sanchez said. "At this point, they've made their statement and we respect that. Now we're asking them to stop."