OAKLAND, Calif. - Could Oakland be closer to seeing federal officers move into town to quell protest violence?
That message was expressed by Mayor Libby Schaaf following a demonstration that led to some destruction of property.
The Saturday night protest was peaceful until about 9 p.m. when Oakland police reported vandalism at their police station.
Next, there was a small fire at the superior courthouse.
Some are concerned those incidents could be enough to motivate the president to send in federal forces.
"Wall of Moms Bay Area" organized the demonstration in Oakland in solidarity with the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in Portland, demonstrations that have seen violent clashes between protestors and federal officers who were sent in to quell destructive behavior.
Some Oaklanders say they’re OK with federal force being used here, but under one condition.
“As long as it's called for, meaning there is a lot of violence, there is a lot of destruction, and that's how they can keep it under control, prevent it, then I would say yes,” said John Compton.
Portland's mayor and Oregon’s governor want the federal officers to leave.
And Oakland’s mayor does not want them here, issuing a statement pleading for protestors to remain peaceful.
“Vandalizing our downtown gives Donald Trump the images he wants and the justification he seeks to send federal troops into American cities,” in a statement released by Mayor Libby Schaaf.
A young woman who attended Oakland’s protest as a volunteer medic says she doubts it matters how protestors behave.
“You know whether or not people will protest peacefully or not is not going to determine whether Trump decides to send his troops here, because he already has this preconceived notion of what Oakland is. He said it's a mess,” said Vanessa Dove, a volunteer medic at the protest.
Some downtown businesses boarded-up to protect their livelihoods.
Tribune Tavern is a black-owned restaurant that had its door damaged.
“Obviously like having small businesses and locally-owned businesses and Black-owned businesses being vandalized is terrible,” said Dove.
While many protestors say they don’t condone violence, some don’t denounce either, saying it’s part of civil disobedience.
And they urge the feds and those comfortable with federal forces in American cities to be mindful of why some demonstrators may resort to violence.
“You know they are frustrated and there is a reason they are frustrated and maybe if we listen and can become intense and speedy with our methods of justice, maybe it'll stop,” said Dove.
Oakland police say they made several arrests during Saturday’s protest, but didn’t give specifics.
So far, there’s been no word from the federal government on any plans to send federal law enforcement to Oakland.