Anti-Trump protesters express grievances in downtown Oakland

Peaceful protest determined to be unlawful, anarchists 'tear up city'

Denis Perez / The Advocate
A protester holds up a sign in front of a trash can set on fire during the #TrumpProtest in Oakland, California on Nov. 9, 2016.

By Lorenzo Morotti, Associate Editor

Thousands of people moved through the streets of Downtown Oakland yesterday to protest president-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric that boosted his campaign to victory and divided the nation.

Protester Pestinee Yarrow said she traveled from Davis, California to denounce the anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigration and divisive comments during the primary.

“Everything Trump said, and plans to do, affects us as a community of minorities.” Yarrow said. “A lot of good friends have been brutalized by the police and treated as second class citizens for too long.”

An estimated 6,000 people joined the protest since its beginning at Frank Ogawa Plaza on 14th and Broadway to when it was considered and unlawful protest by Oakland Police Department at the intersection of Washington and 8th Street.

A flatbed truck, with a precession of protesters toting signs that read “not my president”, “fuck Donald Trump” and “not this pussy”, was funneled by hundreds of police officers to a police line that would not budge.

A firework was tossed from the crowd of protesters toward the police line at about 8 p.m. and a fire was started near the congested intersection.

The police responded with two tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd. The truck left, but protesters stood their ground and sat with signs and their hands raised under the rising cloud of smoke.

“They just smoke bombed us. This has been a peaceful protest until some people acted up,” protester Rachel Masoude said. “The cops just said what we are doing is unlawful, but the police are the ones escalating the situation.”

After this point the protesters were split and smaller groups of people, dressed in black and wearing bandanas, began causing havoc.

These smaller groups of anarchists collected trash and garbage bins and started fires in the middle of Broadway and Telegraph.

Two police SUVs were broken into and also set on fire, and multiple Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Federal Building.

As life-long Oakland resident Noel Smith was trying to put out the initial fire that caused the police to determine the protests was unlawful on Washington and 8th Street, some people told her to “let it burn”.

“I think that when this happens problems begin to happen. Upset people came out here to protest Trump,” Smith said. “And Oakland is a place were change can happen, but it cannot be done by tearing up the city we love.”

Thirty people were arrested and three officers were injured on the second day of anti-Trump protests according to Oakland Police Department officials.