CALIFORNIA — Protests in Oakland over the weekend turned violent on Saturday, July 25. Alameda County Superior Courthouse was set on fire and the Oakland police station was vandalized.
The protest was organized by “Wall of Moms,” a group of mostly women and some men wearing yellow shirts who were protesting the actions of federal troops in Portland, Oregon.
The organization claims on a ‘gofundme’ page that it estimates thousands participated in the protest. The Oakland Police Department said in a tweet that around 700 people partook in the demonstration.
Late in the evening into the early morning of Sunday, July 26, the police department started to report violence in the city.
“Some demonstrators in the area of 17th & Lakeside are breaking windows and chanting racial slurs at residents,” Oakland police tweeted.
The “Wall of Moms” page said that the protest which began peacefully was “marred by vandalism of the Police and Court buildings” immediately afterward.
“Some within the crowd of 100s of demonstrators vandalized the police station,” another tweet said. “Breaking windows, spray painting, shooting fireworks and pointing lasers at officers and helicopters.”
Police later declared an unlawful assembly near the police station on 7th Street and Broadway.
After asking the crowd to disperse multiple times, “agitators [breached] the barricades in front of the Police Department,” police said.
Police continued to ask the crowd to disperse and to “stop throwing items and pointing lasers at the officers at 7th & Broadway.” A video shared by Oakland police on Twitter shows a person knocking down the barricade.
Later in the morning, police said the “several people” were arrested.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said via Twitter that the courthouse was “not severely damaged,” and that clean up efforts are underway. Police made an assessment of $200,000 in damages.
The outside of the courthouse was heavily painted with graffiti, images shared on social media show. In a video shared on Twitter, a fire is visible from outside the courthouse’s front entrance.
President Donald Trump, describing protestors as “anarchists,” said federal law enforcement will be sent to cities where demonstrations are tuning to violence.
“We’re not going to let New York and Chicago, and Philadelphia and Detroit and Baltimore and all of these – Oakland is a mess. We’re not going to let this happen in our country,” Trump said on Monday, July 20.
After the events in the city, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf condemned the vandalism in the city and President Trump’s “strategy.”
“Vandalizing our downtown gives Donald Trump the images he wants and the justification he seeks to send federal troops into American cities,” Schaaf said.
“Wall of Moms Bay Area” said there are “many protests ahead.”