An group of anti-war protesters, making the anniversary of the start of the war in Afghanistan, trashed a three-block area of downtown Oakland Sunday night, breaking windows at City Hall and defacing commercial buildings with paint.
Oakland police said there had been no arrests in the vandalism spree in an around Franklin in downtown Oakland.
The violence stemmed from a demonstration by a group called Afghans for Peace. The march began at Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall around 7 p.m., and had already dispersed by around 8:30 p.m., according to Oakland Police officer Cynthia Espinoza.
At City Hall, authorities said, the unruly demonstrators smashed the glass front doors and windows.
Several other commercial buildings were targeted including the California Bank and two other bank branches, the offices of the Oakland Tribune and offices for Kaiser Permanente and AC Transit. The buildings were splashed with paint and had windows broken.
At least two cars – both BMWs – parked on the street had their windows broken.
Grace Nguyen, who grew up in Oakland, said she was tired of the kind of vandalism that left her BMW with a broken windshield and driver’s side door window.
“We’re just hardworking people,” she said. “We grew up in Oakland and to see our hometown come to a shambles like this – it’s kind of sad.”
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.