Demonstrators opposing a ban on nighttime protests in Oakland, Calif., assembled Saturday morning at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater to show that “We also revolt in the day!” The daytime protest follows a march Friday night that organizers eventually deemed a success because of the lack of protesters who attended.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told the East Bay Express that her prohibition on nighttime street marches in Oakland was not a new city law, but a reinterpretation of an existing one. Members of a #SayHerName protest march held in May to draw attention to alleged police violence against women and transgender people were angered when police ordered them back onto the sidewalk as they began to spill into the street. Before that, a May Day demonstration was marked by protesters breaking windows and setting cars on fire.
A post on the Occupy Oakland website explained that the assemblies were a defense of “the black and brown radical tradition.”
We are strongly opposed to [the mayor’s and police chief’s] “vision of Oakland” and seek to abolish the police as well as the state. As an alternative we hope to organize our hoods to build community and push out the police who have always brutalized us.
For some reason Libby Schaff thinks she can erase the black and brown radical tradition from Oakland. She thinks she can erase black and brown militants from the streets. LITTLE DID SHE KNOW SHE CAN’T! We will resist and revolt in the day as we always have.
Friday night’s march looked like trouble on social media.
We want to make sure you know it will always be our goal to encourage safe, peaceful demonstrations. Consistent with our existing policy, we are simply implementing time, place and manner provisions to better protect public safety and prevent vandalism and violence.
The City of Oakland has not banned nighttime protests, and we have not imposed a curfew. Per the City of Oakland’s policy, we are required to facilitate safe, peaceful protests with or without permits.
We believe using better crowd management protects everyone’s safety and supports free speech and assembly.
Friday night’s crowd management turned out to be a large police presence at the announced site of the protest. It’s uncertain how many protesters showed up, but organizers publicized a number as little as 30 to prove what a waste of resources the deployment of law enforcement was.
That could very well be true.
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