Filed under: Action, Police, Southwest, White Supremacy
by Dave Id
The back to back caught-on-video police murders of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge on July 5 and Philando Castile in St. Paul on July 6 kicked off a new wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the country. The people of Baton Rouge and St. Paul have been protesting daily since the killings. Solidarity actions have been held in New York, Chicago, Norfolk, Tampa, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and numerous other cities. Several freeways have been shut down. Hundreds have been physically attacked and arrested by police. Demonstrations in response to the killings have occurred as far away as London, Berlin, and Amsterdam.
Communities have staged rallies, marches, and vigils across Northern California as well. On July 7, with short notice — angry about the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and OPD’s recently exposed widespread corruption — Oaklanders amassed for the largest protest in some time, with around 2000 people marching and shutting down Interstate 880 for over four hours, right in front of Oakland police headquarters.
Despite the blockade of a major transportation artery for perhaps the longest period of time in Bay Area history, rampant defacing of OPD headquarters, and vandalism of several nearby businesses, the number of arrests was relatively low. Police say seven were arrested, one cited and released. The most serious charges included assault on a police officer, vandalism, and attempting to break into a business (Smart & Final on Broadway). Two people were arrested on suspicion of throwing bottles at police.
The NLGSF confirmed with this reporter four misdemeanor arrests and one citation. Two of those bailed out of Santa Rita jail with court dates in August, one was transferred to a nearby county jail on an unrelated matter, and another person arrested on the freeway was released from Rita on Monday night after the District Attorney declined to file charges at the arraignment.
Several protests have been held in San Francisco since July 8, including one the following day that shut down a major onramp to the Bay Bridge. Multiple demonstrations have been held in Santa Cruz and San Jose.
Oakland 880 Shutdown: Reverend Ben McBride Speaks Out from the Freeway (video)
Full Indybay coverage of Northern California Alton Sterling and Philando Castile actions to date