Police agencies from at least nine different counties, along with
Homeland Security, the FBI, CIA and DOJ descended upon Oakland. As
people gathered to peacefully assemble, they had to wade through rows of
police just to get to the City Hall Plaza. This in itself set a tone of
anger for the people as they had just learned that Johannes Mehserle
would only serve about seven months in prison for the cold-blooded
murder of Oscar Grant.
Following almost five hours of peaceful protesting, about 300 people decided to march to the Fruitvale BART Station, the location of the murder of Grant on Jan. 1, 2009. Instead of facilitating the march in a productive and peaceful manner, the police chose to immediately respond with tactical and strategic repression of the people’s will and rights. The encroachment of the police on to the marchers further fueled the flame of an ignited community and led to an unnecessary confrontation on the streets of Oakland.
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