Majority of Arrested Freeway Activists Freed Without Bail

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About five protesters, including at least two UC students, will be arraigned today after being arrested for blocking traffic on Interstate Highways 880 and 980 as part of the March 4 statewide protest.

The majority of the roughly 140 protesters arrested Thursday in Oakland were released without bail and are scheduled to appear in court during the first week of April. But those facing arraignment today remained in Santa Rita Jail over the weekend with bail amounts ranging from $2,000 to $12,000, according to John Hamasaki, an attorney representing one of the protesters.

According to Hamasaki, nearly all of those arrested were cited for unlawful assembly and obstruction of a public street.

But most of those who were not

released have an additional charge for resisting arrest, Hamasaki said.

Hamasaki said he has previously represented students arrested in connection with the Nov. 20 occupation of Wheeler Hall and the Feb. 26 Southside riot.

"We have agreed to represent those individuals on Monday," he said. "We're going to be making an argument on their behalf that they should be released on their own recognizance."

Yvette Felarca, a teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School who got her masters from UC Berkeley, said she supports the actions of the protesters.

"Defending public education is not a crime," she said.

UC Berkeley student Laura Zelko, who was arrested on the freeway, said in an e-mail that she also supports the actions of protesters.

"Taking over a highway is an effective ... form of civil disobedience," she said.


Contact Bryn Jura at [email protected]

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