Several hours of violence erupted Wednesday night as demonstrators at "smashed storefronts and cars, set several cars ablaze and blocked streets in downtown Oakland." The riot started after a protest was held at the Frutivale BART station, voicing anger at the New Year's Day shooting death of Oscar Grant. The "roving mob" went to town, indiscriminately going on a rampage throughout downtown Oakland.
The mob smashed the windows at Creative African Braids on 14th Street, and a woman walked out of the shop holding a baby in her arms.
"This is our business," shouted Leemu Topka, the black owner of the salon she started four years ago. "This is our shop. This is what you call a protest?
While the victims of last night's riots had nothing to do with the unfortunate killing of Oscar Grant, many protesters were tickled over the noise being made in the name of racial injustice and (alleged) frustration. "I feel like the night is going great," said Nia Sykes, 24, a San Francisco resident who made it over to Oakland to experience some gritty color. "I feel like Oakland should make some noise. This is how we need to fight back. It's for the murder of a black male."
The riot started in the evening after 200 or so protested splintered off from the original protest. Over 100 were arrested. The BART investigation into Grant's death continues at a viscous pace.
Image: The Inadvertent Gardener