OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - It worked in Wichita, Kansas, but in Oakland it’s a different story. A story has gone viral about Black Lives Matter protesters who joined law enforcement for a community cookout. The barbecue was seen as a way to start dialogue between activists and to help ease the racial tension that has gripped the nation amid high-profile police shootings and the targeted shootings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge.
Oakland Police Department invited local Black Lives Matter protesters to partake in a similar-minded barbecue like the one in Wichita.
At Wednesday’s divest from the police demonstration held at Oakland’s Police Union headquarters, where activists U-locked and chained themselves to the building’s doors, KTVU’s Henry Lee spoke with Karissa Lewis, a self-described “black-liberal farmer” and protester with Black Lives Matter. She was asked if she would accept the OPD’s offer.
Her answer: “Barbecue’s aren’t going to stop the brutality that black folks are facing. A barbecue is definitely not going to stop this blockade. And as a radical-black farmer from East Oakland— I eat pigs, I don’t eat with them."
Oakland police said despite that response, their offer still stands.
Lewis used the mic-check call and response technique, popularized at the Occupy protests and many of the activists, at least at this one protest, seemed to be in agreement with her about the offer.