A group of about 20 protesters briefly blocked BART charter buses from leaving the West Oakland BART station this afternoon but left at the request of union picketers, an Oakland deputy police chief said.

The charter buses had been provided by BART for commuters stranded by a strike called this morning by members of Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 155.

About 20 protesters who are unaffiliated with the unions took it upon themselves to prevent the buses from leaving the West Oakland BART station shortly before 4 p.m. today, interim Oakland police Deputy Chief Dave Downing said.

Union members picketing nearby asked them not to block the buses and the protesters left on their own accord, Downing said.

A few dozen union members remained picketing outside the BART station this afternoon.

Scott Morris, Bay City News

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