Thursday, January 8, 2009

IndyBay Reportback from Oakland Riots - Repost

Oakland: Riots In The Streets

"Walter Benjamin asked himself how in 1830 the Paris rioters shot at town clocks, in different parts of the city and without coordinating the action; for our part we cannot fail to reflect on why wild youths of today are burning cars. In fact, what does the car represent in contemporary society? We leave the question unanswered."

Stop protesting. Start fighting.

A protest was held January 7th at the Fruitvale BART station. Protesters gathered at 3pm and by 5pm the crowd had swelled to around one thousand people. At 6pm some of the protesters started marching down Broadway towards downtown Oakland. Around 6:35 there was a confrontation with a police car and a burning dumpster was shoved into it as people shook and jumped on the car. Hundred of police then moved in, shooting tear gas into the crowd. The protest continued into the night as dozens of protesters took over and blocked the intersection of 14th and Broadway for over an hour with several people lying on the ground to show how Oscar was lying when he was shot. A line of hundreds of riot police then moved in and pushed the crowd up 14th. The crowd pushed back and dozens of car windows were broken and a minivan was set one fire. The police then charged and as protesters dispersed windows were broken on a McDonalds and at least two more cars were set on fire.

8:30pm Two more cars near 14th and Madison are on fire and there have been more arrests.

8:10pm Crowd is dispersing. KPIX helicopter shows windows being smashed in on a McDonalds a block of so away.

8:07pm All cars on one side street have had their windows smashed and a minivan is on fire.

8:05pm Police are dividing crowd and charging at protesters. Several people are being put in police vans. An online feed from seems to show police have dragged one person behind a police van and at least 4 police are beating the person with batons .

8:00pm A line of police is moving in and pushing the protesters out of the intersection. Many protesters are pushing back and several car windows are being smashed.

7:45pm Police just ordered the crowd to disperse and have told the crowd that anyone who does not leave the area in 10 minutes will be arrested.

7:40pm Dozens of people are still at 14th and Broadway, surrounded by hundreds of police cars and police in riot gear. Several people are lying on the ground in the intersection re-enacting how Oscar Grant was lying when he was shot.

7:10pm People are blocking Broadway and 14th chanting “We are Oscar Grant”

7:05pm: 50 or so people now marching back up Broadway towards 13th

6:40pm: Police are using tear gas and rubber bullets on crowd. 12 cops on foot and an armored truck chased people on Broadway towards the freeway.

6:35pm: Reports of people jumping on cop car and dumpster on fire near 7th and Madison

4:00pm: The crowd has swelled to around 300 people. BART has issued an advisory announcing the closure of the Fruitvale station "due to civil protest." A bus bridge has been established at Coliseum station.

3pm: Protesters have begun to gather at Fruitvale BART.

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