A massive crowd of demonstrators have blocked Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland this evening, completely shutting it down in both directions.
According to SFist assistant editor Caleb Pershan, who is at the scene, an estimated thousand demonstrators have taken over the freeway, the culmination of a protest against the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota that began at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The group turned into a march by 7:25, moving north on Broadway. By 8:38, the protest had converged on 880 near the Broadway exit.
Intense standoff: Protesters chant "#blacklivesmatter" as CHP surrounds remaining activists #oaklandshutitdown pic.twitter.com/VqrLZb03AH— Nick Miller (@NickMiller510) July 8, 2016
Some protesters sitting cross legged in front of police. Just a few dozen on westbound now. Ramp is still full. pic.twitter.com/97keRMARhN— Jenna Lyons (@JennaJourno) July 8, 2016
By 12:18 a.m., the Oakland Police Department reported that the size of the demonstration had dwindled to around 100 participants. As of 1:15 a.m., both northbound and southbound lanes had reopened, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Statement from Oakland police on tonight's #oaklandprotest pic.twitter.com/odTSpGFqsz— Nick Miller (@NickMiller510) July 8, 2016
According to a statement sent by OPD, vandalism was reported on Oakland's Police Administration Building. Broken windows and graffiti were also reported at some neighboring businesses, and a Caltrans signboard was set on fire on 880, police said.
An as-yet unspecified number of people were arrested during the demonstration
This is 880 and that's a tractor trailer and those are people on top of it pic.twitter.com/YEePcHWhZq— Caleb Pershan (@calaesthetic) July 8, 2016
Previously: Rally For Alton Sterling, Philando Castile Planned In Oakland Tonight