Skip to main content

Protesters disperse after blocking downtown San Francisco intersection

Protesters hold a black banner with red lettering outside a downtown building.
Demonstrators wave flags and hoist banners in support on Market Street in San Francisco during an October 2023 protest. | Source: Estefany Gonzalez/The Standard

A large group of protesters blocked off a downtown San Francisco intersection for nearly three hours before dispersing Tuesday morning, a day after blocking Central Freeway lanes.

Around 9 a.m., protesters began filling Market Street at Montgomery Street. They held signs asking Sens. Alex Padilla and Laphonza Butler to support a cease-fire in Gaza.

A person holding a bullhorn reads a statement from a cellphone in their hand outside an office building.
Mitali Purkayastha speaks in front of human-chain-linked protesters Tuesday outside a Bush Street office building in downtown San Francisco. | Source: Estefany Gonzalez/The Standard

At a table in the intersection of the streets, several protesters gathered at a table with empty chairs set for the senators. The protesters began leaving the intersection shortly before noon.

Tuesday's protest follows a Monday rally at the city's Civic Center Plaza, after which several hundred protesters blocked off multiple Central Freeway lanes between Duboce and South Van Ness avenues.

It also followed a group of protesters who briefly blocked Golden Gate Bridge lanes last Wednesday. In November, dozens of protesters blocked the Bay Bridge for four hours, calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Chains connect several people in dark clothing lined up outside the entrance of a building.
Protesters chained to the entrance stand outside a Bush Street office building Tuesday in San Francisco. | Source: Estefany Gonzalez/The Standard

President Joe Biden is expected to visit San Francisco this week, as well as the South Bay's Los Altos Hills and Los Angeles, to raise funds for his upcoming reelection campaign.

Police responded to the area, blocking off and redirecting traffic away from the intersection. A police department spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions Tuesday morning from The Standard.

George Kelly can be reached at