Oakland Anti-Trump Protests Rise Up
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The anger and tension throughout Oakland’s Trump protest last night was evident on the faces all around, ready to voice their anger. By the end, the massive protest totaled over 6,000 protesters, according to the Oakland Police Department.
Commencing at the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, protesters gathered raising signs decrying the President-elect Donald Trump, supporting black lives matter and the #nodapl movement. Shouts of “Not my president” and “Fuck Trump” rippled through the crowd. After amassing a crowd of over 3,000, the peaceful rally marched down through downtown. Eventually, the crowd swelled to over double their original size.
The majority of the crowd stayed peaceful, chanting anti-Trump sentiments and playing instruments and singing. “1, 2, 3, 4 slavery, genocide and war 5, 6, 7, 8 America was never great” echoed through the streets. But while many chanted, some small breakaway groups began to vandalize business as the protest continued, smashing windows, tagging storefronts and setting fires to trash cans and similar debris.
Though many peaceful protesters booed and tried to stop some from vandalizing, by 8pm the police attempted to break up the protest as more fires were being lit, resulting in a scuffle between protesters and police.
Even with over 6,000 in favor of participating, many Oaklanders voiced concern about about the protest, arguing that it invites outsiders who come to vandalize Oakland.
Starline Social Club, a local restaurant and performance venue in Oakland posted a photo of local shop, Forthrite Printing’s windows smashed up on their Instagram account, posting, “PEOPLE! Smash Patriarchy (not locally owned small business)! Doesn’t Chase Bank have huge windows? Don’t take it out on Oakland! Be safe! #smashin #takeittothestreets #dontmakeitworse.”
A similar eruption occurred over the protest event’s facebook page, where some have taken to decry the vandalism done to the city, and if the protest was necessary at all. Others defend many of the protestors who were there, arguing that they and others were peaceful and had a right to assemble.