OAKLAND (KTVU)— Oakland Police Department has informed us that a barbecue with Black Lives Matter protesters will happen after all.
The City of Wichita, Kansas is getting a lot of praise for a simple barbecue last Sunday. Initially there was a Black Lives Matter protest scheduled, but the police chief decided to see what would happen if they had a cookout instead where they invited the protesters.
Activists with Black Lives Matter agreed and the police department supplied the food.
Afterwards, a black pastor said, “To get 1,800 people out to that park, to get police officers and people who have issues with them, to break bread and dance together, people that have been burning on the inside for years, we erased some of that doubt and fear.”
The Oakland Police Department heard about the idea and is working to put together a similar cookout here, but two days ago we asked a Black Lives Matter protester in Oakland whether she’d be interested in going.
Her response that sparked much reaction on KTVU’s Facebook and Twitter pages, “Barbecues 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.”
That reaction touched a nerve with KTVU viewers, many of whom said the idea of a barbecue is great. They admit that it wouldn’t heal everything, but said that it would be a start.
On Friday, Oakland Police Department spokeswoman Johnna Watson said they’ve received a lot of support ever since the statement was made by the Oakland protester.
“We’ve seen a lot of support through social media, phone calls and on the street,” she said.
Watson said the divide between police and some members of the community makes events like this planned barbecue more important than ever.
We’ll keep you updated on when a specific date for the barbecue is nailed down and released.