Several hours after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, more than a 100 protesters marched through downtown Oakland, chanting and carrying signs that read “We Are All Trayvon Martin” and “F*** The Police.”

Despite a small group of protesters who smashed windows, spray painted graffiti and set small fires, there were relatively few physical interactions between police and protesters. According to an Oakland Police Department spokesperson, there were no arrests or injuries following the protest.

As protesters began marching down Broadway around 10:30 p.m., police dispatchers urged officers to rush to 7th Street to set up a police line. About 15 officers were stretched across Broadway by the time protesters arrived. The group turned around and over the next two hours marched a winding route through downtown that took them past the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse before returning to Broadway around 1 a.m.

Oakland police closely monitored the march via helicopter; over police dispatch radio officers tried to identify the individuals who were breaking windows and tagging anti-police graffiti. Police cars followed the march, usually several blocks behind. As the marchers returned to Broadway a little before 1 a.m., trash cans were dragged into intersections and set on fire, a scuffle between several protesters broke out and vandalism increased.

Police cruisers began aggressively driving through intersections and blocking access to side streets causing the protesters to split up into smaller groups on different blocks. The march soon dissipated.

13 Responses

  1. KF

    To all the protesters: I am not proud of you. You are irresponsible animals. Go home to your parents Marin basements. I recently refinanced my house so my mortgage is now pennies to me. I plan to jack the rent on this place as high as the market will bear and rent to a nice gentrifying couple while I blow town for a safer environment. Good luck losers. You’ll need it.

  2. albert

    Proud? Really? The Oakland police had nothing to do with this case. Nor did the Tribune photographer or the KTVU crew. I don’t even think the owners of the cars who’s tires were slashed were a part of this. This happened because of the laws of the sovereign State of Florida. And the few people creating chaos on the streets of Oakland seem to have found just another reason to punish those of us who make Oakland home. And you being proud of anarchy on the streets of Oakland doesn’t help anyone or anything. So thanks for being part of the problem KL.

  3. Jonatton Yeah?

    Yeah, ’cause nothing speaks out about assumed racial injustice in a court 3,000 miles away like smashing up Dogwood’s windows.

  4. SF2OAK

    No arrests? They’ve got photos. Isn’t this an invitation to those who want to commit mayhem to do so at will at no risk? Are the police that ineffective ? Don’t answer that.

    Nobody has addressed the Big Question- when that circumstance happens here- an armed neighborhood watch shoots and kills a suspect here what will happen? Unfortunately you will see fury unleashed. This is because OPD actually does suck. They have not corrected their ways after the Riders scandal, communities of color don’t trust them, the just don’t know what they’re doing as evidenced by this story, OPOA won’t reduce salaries so to increase force numbers so everybody is safer, and OAK keeps throwing millions at pie in the sky stadium plans and tells everyone were broke.

  5. KL

    Protesting is not vandalizing.

    There was a protest in East Oakland that did not, but should have, made the news.

    African American youth should make clear to themselves that they will not accept being treated as blight in their own homes. I’m hoping that this leads to some self-reflection.

    So if it’s a problem, yes, I’m part of it.

  6. Paul B

    Let’s be clear that many people protested the irrational acquittal of Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin, and a group of opportunists smashed windows and painted irrational slogans, expressing anger at the police and capitalism and using the opportunity of a protest to do their thing. They aren’t protestors, they are agent provacateurs or politically stupid white people dressed in black who cannot organize or mobilize real protest and only latch on to other events to act out a pointless fantasy that if they smash a few windows, paint slogans, and complain about ‘hipsters’ capitalism will crumble. Thankfully, most people are not so stupid as to think these people (who likely don’t even live in Oakland) can lead a revolution.

    Even our semi-competent Mayor made a rational observation that these vandals dishonored Travon Martin and his family who had called for peace, not random violence.

  7. MT

    Hey KF, not everyone who can’t afford high rents is a loser or a potential vandal.
    Thanks for helping price out decent people in this town.
    And folks wonder why there is so much anger in Oakland…
    it’s not just kids busting windows who are frustrated and desperate.

  8. Matt of Uptown

    To me it’s kind of mental to be proud of anyone who commits an injustice to protest another injustice.

    Violence causes people to polarize, while peaceful resistance makes people think.

  9. Jonatton Yeah?

    What’s irrational was the prosecution’s choice to charge Zimmerman with second degree murder when they must have known, given the State of Florida’s laws (right or wrong), that it would be tough to convict. Personally, I think he should go to prison because I don’t believe being beaten up is a justification for shooting and killing someone, but the prosecution overplayed their hand and they lost; some would say we all lost.

    But I suppose it’s easier to be sophomoric and say, “F**k the Police” when Zimmerman is not a cop and making it into some white/black issue when Zimmerman is neither.

  10. Uptown Local

    I was furious when I heard the verdict, because I think it’s incredibly unfair that African American men should have to put up with the stereotype that we are more violent, more likely to commit crimes, and can’t be trusted, and somehow George Zimmerman’s fear of a black kid justified taking that kid’s life.

    Then, a bunch of idiots came and smashed up my street. Now I’m not so sure. If Oakland speaks for African American men, it told the world that they are right to be scared of black men walking down their street at night.

    Acts of violence and vandalism like what we saw this weekend are why the George Zimmermans of the world exist.

  11. KL

    I know of no African Americans who participated in vandalism. I would not vandalize.

    However, I do know African Americans who went to the protests in East Oakland. No one spoke about vandalism. They spoke about it positively.

    However, a downtown business owner claimed the vandals he saw were white. I know no vandals, so I can’t speak.

    The African American protesters I know are offended by the vandals tearing up our homes. They are basically sabotaging and hijacking the protests.


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