East Bay Protests for 5th Consecutive Night, Disrupt Peter Thiel Talk at UC Berkeley

NBC Bay Area

Three BART stations were forced to temporarily close due to protests in the East Bay on Wednesday night.

Oakland police estimated around 150 to 175 protesters marched into the city after starting at Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley about 7 p.m. The Ashby BART station was closed after the march began in Berkeley and reopened as the march made its way into Oakland, where the 12th Street and Lake Merritt stations each closed temporarily after 11 p.m., according to BART officials and the agency's Twitter feed.

Before reaching Oakland, the group entered the University of California at Berkeley campus and shut down a talk at Wheeler Hall by PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel. The crowd attending the event greeted the protesters with a chant of "Go home!" and shouted at them to leave but the event was ultimately shut down.

At least one arrest appears to have occurred outside Wheeler Hall.

The group then marched through city streets and into Oakland, and most recently gathered around 14th Street and Broadway.

A few protesters threw rocks, breaking windows on at least one business, a T-Mobile store.

One Oakland police official, Lt. Chris Bolton, said on social media that officers were moving in to make stops and arrests where possible.

Prior to Wednesday night's protest, Berkeley police said they had arrested 27 people at protests over the past few days. On Monday alone, the California Highway Patrol arrested more than 150 demonstrators after they blocked Interstate Highway 80 in Emeryville.

The protesters, marching in response to grand jury decisions in New York and Missouri declining to charge police offices in the deaths of two unarmed black men, have taken over East Bay freeways, shut down BART stations, damaged businesses and tied up traffic in Oakland, Emeryville and Berkeley multiple times this week.

Berkeley High School students Wednesday afternoon also led a school walk out, march and die-in on the University of California at Berkeley campus.

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