Oakland: Jacob Blake protesters gather downtown

OAKLAND — Days after Wisconsin police shot a Black man, protesters gathered anew to call for justice on Wednesday evening in Frank Ogawa Plaza.

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Demonstrators spoke on the death of Jacob Blake, who was shot multiple times by a police officer on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Multiple rounds of protests have sought to center long-standing grievances over policing and public order nationally and locally, spurred by multiple incidents this year, including the March no-knock raid in Louisville, Kentucky, that led to Breonna Taylor’s death, the California Highway Patrol officer-led traffic stop in June that killed Erik Salgado and injured his girlfriend in East Oakland, and George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

At one point, a demonstrator in Oakland on Wednesday led a cheer for the NBA player strike that had started earlier in the day, saying that “the labor moment has been so absent, so missing in action that no one even notices.”

Oakland, a city long known for large peaceful protests as well as some splinter groups causing property damage, has seen demonstrations throughout the year. The fatal shooting of a federal security officer during a protest earlier this year was later alleged by federal prosecutors to be an attempt by extremists to incite civil war.

Oakland city officials earlier Wednesday said that they would aim to facilitate peaceful protests in the streets.

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“Over the past month, we have continued to facilitate peaceful protests and expressions of outrage about social injustice and racial inequality. The Oakland Police Department has increased staffing to provide safe space for the demonstrations to occur and will facilitate free speech while maintaining public safety,” Oakland city administrator Ed Reiskin said in part Wednesday.

“We celebrate passionate protest, but remind Oaklanders that when they attend protests after dark they may be providing cover for agitators who are more intent on vandalism and stoking civil unrest than advancing social justice.”

City officials said residents may sign up for Nixle, a platform Oakland police use to alert residents about possible traffic disruptions and station closures related to protests or police activity, by texting your ZIP code to 888777 on a mobile phone to opt in to alerts.

Check back for updates.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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