May Day protests turn violent on Oakland streets, arrests made

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP and KTVU) -- More than a dozen people were arrested in a Friday night protest in downtown Oakland after some protestors involved committed acts of vandalism, police said Saturday morning.

KTVU crews witnessed protesters in the crowd breaking windows at businesses. Protesters also smashed windows on new cars at a Honda dealership on Broadway. At least one car was burned and an ATM was smashed. There were also reports of people throwing light bulbs filled with paint.

Some of the demonstrators held signs reading "Racism is the Disease," "Black Lives Matter" and "Stop Police Brutality." Others said they wanted better wages and working conditions for the masses.

Oakland police requested mutual aid from other agencies at 8:44 p.m.

Police said just before 3 a.m. there we no reports of protester activity in the downtown area, and city staff had begun working to clean-up the area.

In addition to the more than a dozen arrests, police said several citations were issued during the protest.

It was one of several demonstrations by labor, immigrant and civil rights activists in cities across California.

Hundreds of people rallied and marched in San Francisco Friday for International Workers Day calling for not only safe working conditions and fair pay, but also an end to police brutality, state violence, immigrant deportation and displacement of low-income residents in the Mission District.

Activists and workers from Bay Area groups such as Service Employees International Union Local 87, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, the ANSWER Coalition, La Colectiva and Migrants International, came together to celebrate May Day Friday afternoon at Civic Center Plaza outside City Hall.

Prior to a march from Civic Center Plaza to the Mission District, members of various advocacy groups met with police officers inside Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for a discussion about security during the march.

San Francisco police Capt. Greg McEachern encouraged the activists helping with security to report bad behavior while guiding the crowd of protesters to 16th and Mission streets and then on to 24th and Mission streets for the conclusion of the march.

Olga Miranda, president of SEIU Local 87, said that activists would be working with police to ensure the event stays peaceful and safe.

"This is a family event," Miranda said.

She said despite everything else that is happening in the world today, such as protests in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, activists want to work with police to ensure the safety of today's event.

"Yes, there has been police brutality, but today we are working with police," Miranda said, explaining that she is most concerned that families who come out Friday get home safely.