Protesters covering their faces, preparing to get gassed in Oakland pic.twitter.com/mumCAeGdmJ— Ellen Cushing (@elcush) November 11, 2016
"As the Mayor of one of America's most diverse and progressive cities, I understand the shock and dismay so many feel about a Trump presidency," Libby Schaaf wrote in a statement to her City of Oakland. But after a third night of unrest and protest, Schaaf had strong words for those who would vandalize their home out of rage at the results of the national election. "The best way to protest this election is to show that Oakland comes together and does not fall apart," Schaaf wrote. "Oakland chooses community, not chaos, in where we go from here."
Yet chaos is what many Oaklanders no doubt feel in their hearts, and to express their anguish as well as demonstrate their strength, for another night following the election of Donald Trump to America's highest office, thousands flooded the streets. Their numbers began in the hundreds at Frank Ogawa Plaza, KRON 4 reports. Protesters the previous night, Wednesday, had numbered in the thousands in the East Bay city, and they did again last night, with roughly six or seven thousand on the streets according to the news channel. As they had the night before, Oakland police declared unlawful assembly and deployed tear gas.
For the third night in a row, Oakland stops traffic on Broadway in protest of president-elect Trump pic.twitter.com/OWhdkngD8z— Ellen Cushing (@elcush) November 11, 2016
At least a thousand, probably more, facing off with cops in downtown Oakland pic.twitter.com/NQTEK8Qr08— Ellen Cushing (@elcush) November 11, 2016
The protest was declared an instance of unlawful assembly at around 9 p.m, and 11 people were arrested. One person arrested had a cache of Molotov cocktails, says KRON 4, and although bottles and more were thrown at police, no officers were injured. Some protesters blocked 580, though the CHP removed them fairly fast.
Currently E/B I-580 East of I-980 blocked by approximately 100 protesters.— CHP Golden Gate (@CHP_GoldenGate) November 11, 2016
E/B I-580 just East of I-980 all lanes are open and protesters off at Webster.— CHP Golden Gate (@CHP_GoldenGate) November 11, 2016
The Chronicle reports that Richmond was also the scene of protests. Highway on- and off-ramps were periodically closed by the California Highway Patrol in an effort to keep demonstrators from blocking Interstate 80 in the afternoon.
KRON 4 also reported on damage to at least seven buildings in downtown Oakland. Cleanup crews were on the scene as of this morning, and damage to local business was met with harsh criticism by local political leadership.
Here, it bears noting that OPD frequently characterizes vandalism as rare among protesters, the work of a few under the cover of many more demonstrating peacefully. Of course, that doesn't keep critics from decrying the protests as a whole, or from tarring all protesters with the same brush. To these critics, all demonstrators need to be shamed for brazen criminal behavior that the vast majority of them don't condone. That act of criticism unfairly implies everyone who marches is, if not directly responsible for vandalism, then at least complicit in it, a wrongheaded and frankly offensive sentiment.
Left: Vandalism //// Right: Resiliency. Downtown + Chinatown businesses do not deserve to be on the receiving end of Anti-Trump fueled rage pic.twitter.com/1ZmQTFvnuT— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) November 10, 2016
Oakland journalist and artist Susie Cagle added her thoughts, citing OPD's years of experience handling protest that hasn't, in her view, amounted to much progress on the part of the department.
You'd think that years of practice & very expensive legal outcomes would improve Oakland's handling of mass protest but you'd be mistaken— Susie Cagle (@susie_c) November 11, 2016