In the aftermath of the police killing of Oscar Grant and the riots that ensued, Oakland residents are demonstrating the strength in their communities. Here’s a collection of stories from our town showing how Oakland is resisting violence:
On Friday, January 9, fifty students at Oakland School for the Arts, located in the Fox Theatre in downtown Oakland, mobilized in a walkout. The protesters marched and chanted in resistance to both the execution of Oscar Grant and the continued occupation and active aggression toward Gaza and all of Palestine. The procession moved from OSA, on 19th and Telegraph, to 14th and Broadway, an intersection that has seen much dissent regarding Oscar’s murder.
22-year-old Oakland resident Brandon McFarland reflects on the beauty and the ugliness in his city in this piece for Youth Radio. Audio of Brandon’s commentary, which originally aired on National Public Radio’s “Day to Day”:
The murder of Oscar Grant is tragic and it is significant. People here are frustrated and pained by what happened. Last Wednesday night when protesters took to the streets, it was like everyone in the city just said “Hell Naw!”
I don’t agree with the way some reacted, but I do understand why they lashed out. Because I don’t have to look too far back in my own memory to when I’ve been pulled over, detained, and almost arrested for no apparent reason. But it’s not fair to put all of Oakland’s ugliness on the police. Citizens here do more wrong to each other than any police department.
An amazing story from right down the street, where workers at a Vietnamese restaurant prevented their shop from being vandalized:
When vandals started pounding on the locked door of her restaurant on 17th Street in downtown Oakland Wednesday night, Michelle Nguyen called Pho 84’s night shift to the front window to demonstrate strength in numbers. The rioters trashed cars in front of the Vietnamese restaurant, but left Ms. Nguyen, her colleagues, and her customers alone. Pho 84 was lucky. The rioters went on to smash several storefronts on 17th Street including a dressmaker and a sandwich shop on the corner of Franklin Street.