Hundreds gather in downtown Oakland for 3rd night of Trump protests

- Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Oakland Thursday evening for a third night of demonstrations against the election of Donald Trump to be President if the United States.

An estimated 7,000 people protested on Wednesday night. Demonstrators grew violent as the evening wore on, with police using tear gas and flash bang grenades and protesters throwing rocks, bottles and fireworks.

According to Oakland Police Department, one officer was treated and released from the hospital Wednesday night. Two others were treated and released in the field late Wednesday night/ early Thursday morning.

Cat Brooks of the Anti Police Terror Project addressed the crowd, saying that it was the police who incited the violence.

Police said they used tear gas only after provoked.

"This is censorship at the hands of Libby Schaaf and OPD," Brooks said, but called for discipline on tonight's march.

"We do not accept or acknowledge the fascist regime of Donald Trump or Libby Schaaf nor do we recognize the authority of her gestapo, otherwise known as OPD."

Business owners and non-profits had a mess on their hands Thursday morning. From Webster Street to Broadway, 14th Street to 19th Street, Oakland Police said 20 properties were targeted by violent splinter groups marching amongst thousands of peaceful protesters Wednesday night.

"We're a law enforcement agency of 753 officers, so when we're managing 7,000 people, it is challenging to protect our businesses,” said Oakland Police Officer Johnna Watson.

Oakland Police said they arrested 30 people for either damaging businesses or attacking police, and gave 11 citations Wednesday night. Out of the 30 arrests, only 12 people live in Oakland. Police said several were from outside of the Bay Area and even out of state.

"When we look across the board at our protests, where we have seen violence, often we see a majority of the groups are from outside the city of Oakland,” said Watson.

Oakland Police said an arrest packet will be made public next week, detailing who was arrested, where they’re from, and the charges. The charges could range from vandalism to assault on peace officers. Oakland Police said officers deployed several CS blast devices (a dispersal agent) when members of the violent crowd threw rocks, bottles, fireworks, M-80s, and Molotov cocktails at officers.

The outsiders coming into Oakland are being investigated by detectives on whether they’ve been previously arrested at past protests in the city and if they have connections to criminal organizations.

Officer Watson said the violent groups hid themselves in the mass of peaceful demonstrators and then broke away later in the march.

"We did see a majority of people saying, 'No! Don't break the window. No, don't light that on fire. Let's not do this to the businesses.' So, there was a divide in the group,” said Watson.

Two neighboring non-profits downtown had very different nights.

"They smashed our window on our door and I saw a part of a grate on the ground. I think that's what they used to smash it in,” said a non-profit worker who came in at 9:00 a.m. and discovered the damage. The non-profit was proactively boarding up its large front window as protection from a possible second attack Thursday night.

The Flight Deck art non-profit believed it was spared vandalism, because of the signs in its front window.

"With the signage we have here - Not My President, Black Lives Matter, Safe Zone, and Everyone Is Welcome - I think it is a visual cue that we're a part of the community and create a space and share this moment with everyone,” said The Flight Deck’s Champaign Hughes.

Thursday night, Oakland Police had all officers scheduled to handle another night of protests. The department said it would only call for mutual aid from neighboring law enforcement if the crowd became too hard to manage.

Earlier, teenage students left Arise High School to protest the election of Donald Trump. Students said they were too young to vote and are angry adults decided the election that could hurt their future, but the students said they would not participate in hurting their community.

"After everything, this is our city. We have to keep it clean. There's no point in vandalizing it,” said 16-year-old Brenda Aguilar.

 

 

 

 

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