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Anti-police protests at San Francisco train stations lead to arrests

Roughly 200 activists tried to overtake two San Francisco transit stations Friday morning to protest what they call police brutality and to bring attention to what they say are unfair charges against 14 activists accused of blocking rail service two months ago.

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A protester blocks a train door from closing at the Bay Area Rapid Transit Montgomery station on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, in San Francisco. About 80 demonstrators disrupted train service while rallying in support of 14 anti-police violence protesters arrested in November for blocking trains at an Oakland BART station.

Noah Berger/AP

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Demonstrators shut down two San Francisco transit stations Friday morning and two people were arrested during a protest to bring attention to what they say are unfair charges against 14 activists accused of blocking rail service two months ago.

Bay Area Rapid Transit spokeswoman Alicia Trost said the Montgomery and Embarcadero stations reopened after trains ran past the stops for a few hours Friday and snarled the morning commute.

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Roughly 200 activists tried to overtake the system to protest what they call police brutality and pressure prosecutors to drop charges against 14 people arrested during a November demonstration tied to a police killing in Missouri.

Trost said the activists banged spoons on the platform pillars and a few people tried to block train doors. A man who kicked a train car window and a woman who blocked a door were arrested, Trost said. Their names were not released.

Activists say the Friday protests aimed to pressure Alameda County prosecutors to drop charges against 14 people accused of halting BART service by chaining themselves to trains and each other at West Oakland Station in late November.

That protest was among many in California and nationwide stemming from a grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

Meanwhile, in nearby Oakland, a few dozen protesters, holding "Black resistance matters" and "Black power matters" blocked the entrance to a federal building Friday morning. The protest was not linked to theSan Francisco demonstration.

Protesters say the transit demonstration launched four days of action over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Organizers say there will be actions at community meetings and on street corners, with a culminating demonstration in downtown Oakland on Monday morning.

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