About 450 people joined a demonstration Saturday night in Oakland in solidarity with counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, some of whom were victims of a violent vehicular attack in which a lone 20-year-old man with white supremacist ties is accused. The Oakland march which ultimately made it onto the 580 freeway and shut it down briefly around 9:40 p.m. mirrored similar rallies and vigils around the country, including smaller events in LA and San Francisco, and a rally this morning in Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza.
The Oakland march, titled "Charlottesville We Got Your Back, Bay Area United Against White Supremacy," began at 16th Street and Broadway, as the Daily Californian reports. Marchers carried signs that read "White Silence Equals Violence" and "This S**t Is Not Okay." Marching toward Lake Merritt, protesters climbed up onto the freeway at the Grand/Lakeshore exit, and after police gave dispersal orders, they mostly left the freeway within 15 minutes, according to the Daily Cal. KRON 4 has some brief video of the freeway blockade, seen above.
Many of the marchers, as KQED reports, were clad in the black gear and masks of the so-called "antifa" or anti-fascist activists who were possibly the target of James Alex Field's Dodge Charger, which plowed into a crowd on a side street in Charlottesville, killing one woman and injuring 19 others. "We have to bring attention to what’s happening in Charlottesville and to show that we will resist Trump and this fascist regime,” said one female marcher wearing a mask to KQED. "We will not tolerate white supremacy. So we have to get in the way of people’s normal days, we have to cause a little bit of disruption peaceful disruption."
The protests followed a night and day of upheaval in Charlottesville, where a "Unite the Right" rally was planned Saturday and ultimately called off by the mayor. Various factions of the alt-right, including a large contingent of white nationalists, descended upon the college town under the auspices of protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. But one of the speakers at the weekend's events, former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke, said the rally was "going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump" to "take our country back," according to the New York Times.