Dozens of peaceful Oakland protesters were taken into custody on Saturday night for declining to comply with the mayor’s new policy of moving nighttime protests from the streets to the sidewalk.
Authorities said that the new rues were designed to prevent damages to small business owners by protecting them from acts of vandalism. But protesters said that the move made no sense since if somebody aimed for property damage they needed to be on the sidewalk.
Oakland protesters rallied for the first time Thursday to remind the city about the black female casualties of the police across the state. March leaders were surprised to learn that had been a change in policy when the police started to push the crowd from the streets to the sidewalk.
The police explained that Mayor Libby Schaaf opted to change the policy after the May Day protests which resulted in a series of acts of violence and vandalism that had damaged many local stores on Auto Row.
However, protesters said Thursday that they shouldn’t be qualified as vandals when all they were doing was to peacefully express their views.
The mayoral decision is all the more curious since the city had hosted both daytime and nighttime rallies for years now.
In response, Oakland protesters that were gathered to protest against the police killings of black women decided to hold two more protests against the new policy. So they started shouting “Our streets, all night!”
Female demonstrators that had protested Thursday against police violence were appalled by their female mayor’s response to a peaceful march that demanded police to stop killing women and children.
“You can’t run roughshod over people because they’re protesting your oppression,”
one of the demonstrators said.
On Saturday night, the troubles with the police started around 9 p.m. when demonstrators were told that they could face arrests if they declined to clear streets.
The Oakland police department reported that about 100 people refused to comply with the request so officers had to team up with the California Highway Patrol to build a wall to block their way.
But as demonstrators started to push against the police wall, officers tried to resolve the issue through bullhorns. Nevertheless, they soon had to resort to flash grenades to disperse the crowd. Moments later dozens of protesters were arrested or fined. The ones that tried to run were also caught and detained.
But many of the detained people complained that they were already on the sidewalk when the police arrested them. By 10:30 p.m., the protest was over. The police declined to disclose the exact number of the people taken into custody.
Image Source: NBC Bay Area
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