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SF protesters take to the streets after Trump’s inauguration

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Thousands of people march down Market Street during a demonstration held in San Francisco, Calif. Friday, January 20, 2017 protesting the inauguration of President Donald Trump. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

A wave of protests against President Donald Trump overtook San Francisco on Inauguration Day, with demonstrators blocking traffic in the Financial District, crippling the morning commute on Caltrain and sporadically shutting down Market Street.

At least a thousand protesters marched Friday morning from Justin Herman Plaza to 555 California St., a skyscraper on the corner of California and Kearny streets that Trump partially owns. Protesters represented a myriad of causes along the way, criticizing the burgeoning tech sector and its connections to Trump, federal immigration authorities and Wells Fargo.

The protest was just one of several to unfold in San Francisco on Friday, and one of many to break out across the country in response to Trump’s inauguration. In Washington, D.C., some protesters reportedly turned to destruction, breaking windows and setting a limousine on fire.

By 4 p.m., San Francisco police had arrested 29 protesters in the Financial District, outside the Uber Headquarters and on the Caltrain tracks for allegedly refusing to disobey dismissal orders, according to San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Grace Gatpandan.

The morning began when separate protests against the technology industry sprung into fruition at the Uber Headquarters on Market Street and on the Caltrain tracks near 16th and Mississippi streets. Eleven protesters were reportedly arrested for trespassing on the tracks, according to a Caltrain spokesperson.

The Anti Police-Terror Project, a Bay Area-based organization that was in the spotlight last year when it called for the firing of then-Police Chief Greg Suhr, helped organize the demonstrations and released statements on both.

The group said the Uber protest was in response to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s connections to Trump. Caltrain came under fire because it “caters to the tech industry” by shuttling workers between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, according to APTP.

On Twitter, Caltrain said it halted its trains before 9 a.m. and bus passengers between stations in San Francisco until 11:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, the Marin County Sheriff’s Department estimated that some 2,500 demonstrators linked arms on the Golden Gate Bridge on Friday morning to create unity in response to the inauguration. The demonstration, however, was not a Trump protest.

“Well planned, organized, attended, behaved,” the department said of the event on Twitter.

Police followed a large group of protesters as it left Justin Herman Plaza and moved to Bush and Sansome streets, temporarily blocking traffic and forcing cars to reverse and head the wrong direction on Bush Street.

The demonstration then headed to the San Francisco office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which shares a building with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Two smaller groups of protesters had been blocking vehicle entrances alongside the building at Washington and Sansome streets since 8 a.m., according to protesters.

Heriberto Ocasio, one of the protesters, said he was blocking an entrance because one of the cornerstone’s of Trump’s rise to power was his campaign promise to institute mass deportations.

“People need to be in the streets not just today, but these ongoing days to not let this Trump regime function,” Ocasio said. “It’s not business as usual.”

The demonstration then headed to the Wells Fargo History Museum on Montgomery Street near California Street. A dozen protesters had locked themselves up outside the bank.

“This is an ongoing resistance to the occupation of Palestine and the resistance to the policies that will be enabled by Trump and the people put in office by him,” said David Orkin, who was chained to other protesters.

The protest then merged at 555 California St. with another group of students who had been marching down Market Street, including students from Galileo, Leadership and June Jordan high schools in San Francisco.

“People are not being accepting of each other,” Maria Zaragoza, a student delegate on the Board of Education, told the riled up crowd. “That’s not what San Francisco started as, we started as a Sanctuary City.”

Still more protests were scheduled to take place later that day, as well as Saturday.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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