EDITOR'S NOTE :
Jungho Kim is a Bay Area-based photojournalist who contributed this piece to LCRW. As you know, dear readers, this outlet is completely funded by donations. Covering these kind of protests takes skill and means taking risks. If you are able, please consider contributing to his work at https://cash.app/$mrkim. We’d like to raise $300 for him. You can find his excellent photography portfolio here and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Tensions were high as hundreds of people marched through Oakland on Wednesday evening to protest against the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 23. Speakers led the crowd in chanting the names of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Oakland’s own Oscar Grant who was killed by BART police in 2008.
Several hundred people in black bloc set the intensity level for the evening. Some protesters set off fireworks, others graffitied messages like ‘There are Black people in the future’ and the now familiar anti-police slogan ‘Cops don’t cum’ on walls. Many windows were ‘renovated’.
Nothing of note occurred at the Oakland Police Department but when protesters arrived at the U.S. District Courthouse several individuals banged on a door and were promptly met with pepper ball fire from unknown agents.
While constructing roadblocks on Broadway Avenue a small group was approached by a passerby who asked them to not set things on fire. Their response: “Don’t be the peace police.”
Just before 10:00pm more than 50 police and dozens of police vehicles intercepted the protest as it neared Lake Merritt. Officers declared an unlawful assembly over the LRAD before dispersing people east on Grand Avenue.
Multiple groups split off with some people making their way onto I-580 and another heading to the Alameda County Courthouse. Others scattered into residential neighborhoods including Adams Point.
One person with the street medic collective Queers United in Community Care was arrested while several others were detained. This is at least the second time that Oakland police have targeted medics during a dispersal operation, they also did so at a protest in the city on June 12. The medic van was impounded by police with one officer driving it away from the scene.
Protesters are calling for people to come out again on Friday, August 28th.