Police deploy pepper balls on Pro-Palestinian protesters outside Tesla Fremont factory

Police have deployed pepper balls on Pro-Palestinian demonstrators participating in a ‘Blockade the Bay’ Day of Action outside the Fremont Tesla plant, on Monday evening. 

California Highway Patrol confirmed the weapons deployment by the Fremont Police Department and that it was to control the crowd. CHP stood by off Interstate Highway 880 in Fremont due to the protest, which has since ended. 

‘Free Palestine!’ protesters gathered near the automotive factory at the Warm Springs BART station at 5:30 p.m. 

Fremont police began to assemble at the site of the demonstration, wearing tactical gear as squad cars were staged along Fremont Boulevard. 

People carrying the Palestinian flag chanted, "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!"

A KTVU crew at the scene could see protesters pulling on a chain-link fence that separates the protesters from police. The pepper balls were deployed after the demonstrators attempted to break through the fence. Prior to this, the demonstration march went down Kato Road, where traffic began to back up. The demonstration march was cut off by police who met the protesters before they could make it to the Tesla factory entrance. 

No arrests in the Fremont protest have been confirmed. 

This is the latest protest, part of a nationwide demonstration effort to disrupt the work of large corporations, the global economy as well as bridges and roads used for that purpose. 

While demonstrators appear to be united in their objection to the ongoing war in Gaza, organizers say Tesla is also being targeted because they use minerals mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and that the company is complicit in genocide happening in that country

At 7:30 p.m., Fremont Police released a traffic advisory for the area of Mission Boulevard/state Highway 262 at I-880 and Industrial Parkway, Fremont and Kato roads. People are asked to avoid the area. 

One protester, who did not give his name, said the growing death toll in Gaza is weighing heavily on him. 

"I haven’t slept at night, for days. So it’s in my heart, it’s in my mind, in my family also. My kids, everybody is hurting very bad," he said. 

Tesla's Fremont plant is just down the road from Interstate 880, where the blockade impacted traffic for several hours earlier in the day. Another ‘Day of Action’ protest blocked the Golden Gate Bridge in both directions during this morning's morning commute. 

While the CHP didn't say how many were arrested in Oakland, a spokesperson said 26 people were arrested on the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Bay City News contributed to this report. 


'Free Palestine' protesters block part of I-880 in Oakland, Golden Gate Bridge

‘Free Palestine’ protesters on Monday blocked several sections of freeway around the Bay Area, including a section of I-880 in Oakland and the Golden Gate Bridge right at the peak of the morning commute.