#FergusonOakland Day 2

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Originally published in the Bay City News Service, Nov. 25, 2014.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Oakland Tuesday night to rally against a decision made by a grand jury in Missouri to not indict an officer in the shooting death of an 18-year-old man.

Several protesters were arrested after blocking part of the Interstate Highway 580 in Oakland Tuesday night. Others were cited and released and some continue to protest throughout the city this morning.

Hundreds of the protesters swelled near the Interstate Highway 580 entrance at Telegraph and 35th Street. A bottleneck formed, and at one point some of the protesters breached the fence and started climbing up an embankment to the top of the freeway.

Demonstrators in Oakland climbed onto the on-ramp for  Interstate Highway 580 near 35th Street during the second day of protesting a grand jury's failure to indict Ferguson, Missouri, Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Photo by Erin  Baldassari/Bay City News Service.

Demonstrators in Oakland climbed onto the on-ramp for Interstate Highway 580 near 35th Street during the second day of protesting a grand jury’s failure to indict Ferguson, Missouri, Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Photo by Erin
Baldassari/Bay City News Service.

Soon, dozens of people were climbing over or crawling under a chain link fence and making their way to the freeway, forming a solid line and blocking traffic. It wasn’t long before they were surrounded by police.

The protesters put their hands up, ready to comply as officers started corralling the herd off the on-ramp. Some made it off, but the police started to form a barricade, locking arms and not letting anyone through.

The crowd surged and some of the protesters fell down as other protesters trampled them. Two police officers snatched one protester, citing him. A girl was next. One at a time, officers grabbed protesters from the crowd.

“You’re being arrested,” one officer said. “You’re all being arrested.”

Although there was pushing on both sides, once the protesters knew they were surrounded, the crowd calmed down. Protesters waited placidly to be taken away and bound with zip-ties.

“Thank you for your patience,” said one officer as the protesters stood on the roadway, no longer chanting or trying to argue.

Most were issued citations and boarded onto a sheriff’s bus before being carted away to an undisclosed location, where police said they would be released.

One man suffered injuries to his face and was transported to a hospital by an ambulance.

No longer threatened, the officers took a more conciliatory approach with their detainees, largely complying with requests to put wallets back in backpacks or jackets back on shoulders.

Off the freeway, on Telegraph Avenue, protesters set dumpsters on fire and set up barricades in the street.

Josh Pollack, a property manager in Oakland, said it was the “craziest” protest he had ever seen.

“I’d say it’s been pretty successful,” Pollack said.

Pollack said he saw police fire rubber bullets at protesters. Several flash grenades went off, but Pollack said he didn’t know whether they were thrown by protesters or the police.

At one point, protesters swarmed a police cruiser, but the officers, clad in riot gear, dispersed the crowd.

Some protesters used aerosol cans to spray graffiti on highway underpasses, and along Telegraph Avenue, business windows were shattered, scattering glass on the sidewalks.

“I wanted to send a message that black lives matter, all lives matter,” said Sarah Norr, a protester from South Berkeley. “I think people are really hopeful. I’m really proud of the East Bay.”

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