More anti-Trump rallies under way, clashes with police in Oakland

Anti-Trump demonstrators spilled onto the streets of downtown Oakland on Thursday night, meeting resistance from police who sought to prevent protesters from stopping freeway traffic and vandalizing downtown businesses as they’d done the night before. Large crowds from a peaceful rally at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza that ended around 8 p.m. tried to make their way down Broadway, where on Wednesday some lit street fires, smashed windows and sprayed graffiti. Officers in riot gear stood firm across sections of Broadway, trying to limit the crowd’s access to the city’s central strip of businesses. Many demonstrators headed north up Telegraph Avenue, where several attempted to get on Interstate 580 around 10 p.m. to block cars. Police staffing was increased on both sides of the bay after frustration with Tuesday’s election outcome prompted thousands to take to the streets in both Oakland and San Francisco on Wednesday. Before the Oakland rally near City Hall ended and the crowd of about 1,000 spread out, speakers shared their concerns about what they saw as Donald Trump’s racism and sexism as well as the broader issue of police brutality while supporters looked on. While the real estate mogul and reality star soundly defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential race, many in the Bay Area and across the country remained concerned about the Republican’s agenda, notably his campaign pledges to keep out immigrants, do away with the Affordable Care Act and appoint conservative judges to the courts. About 50 protesters marched on the sidewalk along Market Street to Fourth Street, and back again, chanting such slogans as “Not my president” and “Putin and Trump, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.” Three police officers were injured in skirmishes with protesters and a student journalist from UC Berkeley said he was attacked by four masked men as he tried to photograph the looting and vandalism. Thirty people were arrested for the suspected crimes of vandalism, assault on an officer, failure to disperse, unlawful assembly and possession of a firearm, according to police. In a letter to Oakland business owners, Mayor Libby Schaaf apologized, explaining why it “seems our police department cannot stop” the “anarchists” who “invade” peaceful demonstrations. “When (police) step in to stop an act of vandalism while it is happening, they become the new focal point for the crowds which can lead to an escalation of violence, not a decrease in the vandalism,” Schaaf said in the letter. In recent years, the MetroPCS store has installed security cameras and a metal retractable fence at the entrance to prevent looters from breaking in.

0
0