A small group of protesters chanting “Black lives matter!” and “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” blocked traffic on Market Street in San Francisco Thursday night, despite the rainstorm, asserting that the inconvenience of the weather couldn’t compare to the inconvenience of being a black man.
Chriag Bhakta, 27, one of the organizers of the protest, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “One of the reasons we wanted to do it today is because of the weather. We can’t just be out here when it’s convenient. Life is inconvenient for black men all the time.”
The latest protest in the non-indictment of police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner forced traffic to be backed up; buses were blocked and gawkers slowed down to watch, according to the Chronicle. Frank Cosarta, a 41-year-old florist, showed his irritation at the blockage, saying, “I was supposed to be on my way to the Haight, but now it’s going to be at least an extra hour. That’s not a solution, that’s a problem. And if you’re not part of the solution, well, you know what they say.”
The Thursday protest followed a “die-in” Wednesday afternoon staged by roughly 100 UC San Francisco medical students, who lay down in their white coats in front of the medical school’s library. KQED reported that one of the organizers, Nicolas Barceló, a fourth-year medical student, said “Our oath demands that we act not only as scientists, but as concerned citizens. We have to care about all the things that stand in [our patients’] way, including racism and violence.”
The students held signs reading “45 minutes for 4.5 hours,” a reference to the 4½ hours Michael Brown lay in the street after he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson.
Before the medical students lay supine, they passed out picket signs saying “black lives matter,” and encouraged each other to tag their Tweets and Instagram photos with #WhiteCoats4BlackLives.