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Oakland Tech High School Kids Hold Huge Peaceful March, Police Tear Gas Them Anyway

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Screenshot: Brendan Weber, NBC Bay Area

The Bay Area’s most profound peaceful march in response to ongoing police brutality was Monday’s inspiring George Floyd Solidarity March, organized by Oakland Tech high school students and pulled off safely and without a hitch. The same cannot be said for the Oakland Police Department response, which resorted to tear gas and violence over a hastily announced curfew ⁠— before the curfew was even in effect. But that should not detract from the Oakland Tech students’ remarkable organization of a 15,000-person peaceful march. 

“We’re out here to show solidarity with Minneapolis and everybody that’s lost lives at the hands of police brutality,” said Howard University freshman and Oakland native Akil Riley. “We’re here for George Floyd, we’re here to show love to him and his family and to everybody. But we’re also here to disrupt and say we’re not going to let this slide no more.”

Take a look at the amazing procession of youth that proceeded to a rally at City Hall, captured by Darwin Bond Graham, editor of the new publication The Oaklandside  “They want to show pictures of rioting and things burning down, but they will never show this,” Oakland student ⁦Jacqueline Azah told the rally. “Not a fire in the crowd.”

The problem was that Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf announced an 8 p.m. curfew while the march and rally were still taking place. On top of that, Oakland Police took it upon themselves to start firing tear gas into the crowd before 8 p.m., undoing the sentiment of peaceful protest that the kids had worked so hard to create.

The Mercury News reports 40 people were arrested in Monday night’s Oakland standoff, though we do not know if any of them were students. Either way, these kids’ accomplishment should not be blemished by the fact that Oakland City Hall fumbled their curfew announcement, and the police blew their teargas wad a little too early.

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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.

1 Comment

  1. Iqvinder Singh
    June 8, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    You should change the article header to Oakland Tech High school since there’s a separate school called “Oakland High School”.