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Woman goes into labor while trapped on highway by Berkeley protesters

Uh oh.


Aaron Sankin


Posted on Dec 9, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 12:54 am CDT

Massive protests sparked by a controversial New York City grand jury decision stretched into their third night on Monday. In the city of Berkeley, Calif., protesters—angry that a jury decided not to indict a NYPD officer for fatally strangling Eric Garner—halted traffic on Interstate 80, one of the busiest highways in the country, for much of the evening.

As traffic backed up, thousands of drivers were prevented from getting where they needed to go. For most of them, the delay was not critical. One person, however, actually had somewhere very important to be—and she needed to get there quickly.

At around 9:30pm, the Berkeley Fire Department received word that a pregnant woman was stuck in the traffic jam and needed to get to a hospital. Emergency officials were eventually able to make their way through the mass of cars, locate the woman, load her into an ambulance, and get her to the hospital.

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At its peak, the Berkeley protest, organized by the activist group Any Means Necessary, consisted of about 1,500 people. The march began on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, and snaked through the downtown area before members of the group broke off and climbed a fence to access the region’s main highway.

The protesters were able to stop traffic in both directions. Police arrested around 150 of these individuals, some of whom reportedly pelted cops with rocks in the process. Demonstrators also halted the progress of an Amtrak train passing through the area by placing a couch and a parked car on the tracks.

Overall, Monday’s action was relatively peaceful compared to the anarchic and violent clashes between protesters and police that occurred in Berkeley over the weekend. No injuries or property damage were reported.

Photo by Minesweeper/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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*First Published: Dec 9, 2014, 12:48 pm CST