The decision to leave the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown unpunished has students and locals outraged in Berkeley, as they came together yesterday evening to protest what they view as an unjust court system.
However, chaos erupted for the second night in a row, as demonstrators squared off against police and challenged looters that are taking advantage of the unrest. So far 5 police officers have suffered minor injuries, and at least a dozen protesters have been arrested since the unrest began on Saturday night.
While it appears that most of demonstrators have been peaceful, a small minority of agitators have been using the protest as cover for looting and mayhem.
Sunday’s protest began peacefully on the University of California, Berkeley campus. But as protesters marched through downtown Berkeley toward the neighboring city of Oakland, the unrest resumed as someone smashed the window of a Radio Shack. When a protester tried to stop the growing vandalism, he was hit with a hammer, Officer Jennifer Coats said.
Some of the protesters made their way to a freeway in Oakland and blocked traffic. The California Highway Patrol said some tried to light a patrol vehicle on fire and threw rocks and bottles. Police also said explosives were thrown at officers, but there was no information immediately available on how potent they were. Highway patrol officers responded with tear gas…
…police said protesters returned to Berkeley streets, throwing trash cans, scattering garbage and sparking small blazes. Police said several businesses were damaged and looted, and they were checking reports of vandalism at City Hall.
After failing to secure the freeway, many of the protesters returned to Berkeley to continue their demonstration. Once again, they were followed by looters and vandals who continued to wreck storefronts up and down the downtown area. So far there hasn’t been an official count of how many businesses were damaged, but after looking through the Daily Californian twitter feed it appears that the damage has been significant.
Several banks had their windows smashed and ATM’s broken into as the looters moved on to vandalize the T-mobile and Sprint buildings.
From there they traveled through Shattuck, Ashby, and Telegraph, shattering the windows of the Food Co Op, Civic Center, Walgreens, and Berkeley Bowl, among others. By the end of the night, they had overturned and burned trash cans all over the city as bonfires were lit in the middle of the street.
Several of the protesters did their best to stop the mayhem from escalating.
However the protests aren’t over yet. According to the Facebook event, Berkeley March for Justice there is another protest scheduled for this evening, and so far 1,100 people have agreed to show up. I hope the protesters can finally have a peaceful gathering, but if the last two days are any indication, then this demonstration may end up being even more devastating than it was last night. We’ll keep readers posted on any significant developments.
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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .