Protesters outraged at the acquittal of George Zimmerman in Florida briefly blocked a freeway in downtown Oakland and tried to get on a second freeway Monday night in the city’s third demonstration in as many days.
Dozens of protesters walked onto northbound Interstate 880 at Broadway about 7:15 p.m., shortly after marching past Oakland police headquarters. Officers led at least one protester in handcuffs off the freeway.
The vandalism left merchants frustrated. Some said they agreed with protesters that Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African American teenager, was a tragedy that highlighted racial injustice. But they wondered why people angry at the acquittal would damage local businesses.
Many peaceful protesters were also upset, saying the vandals represented a small percentage of demonstrators and seemed to be focused more on causing damage than fighting for justice.
After its windows were broken Saturday, Dogwood put up a poster with Martin’s picture that read, “I am Trayvon Martin and my life matters.” At Awaken Cafe on Broadway, owner Cortt Dunlap put a sign over a damaged window reading, “This window will be fixed later today. When will the U.S. Justice System?”
I am/was literally a block away from Broadway in downtown oakland.
last night i heard what must have been that tear-gas canister detonating. sounded like one of those big rectangular trash containers being knocked down.
and I had gotten home from out-of-town just before (a little after 7pm yesterday/monday) this whole thing with protesters getting on the freeway and blocking traffic for 15 mins or so. i had gotten off the freeway exit ramp onto broadway, and at that first red light on 8th, a ramped-up police meter maid car thing swerved around to block car traffic from broadway.
7 out of 8 of the vandals arrested were not from oakland. GTFO of our city!!! you don’t belong here! destroying our local small businesses, contributing to the violence in our city, fucking it up for the people who actually live here and care about our city