On Friday evening, around 200 protesters gathered at Broadway and 14th Street near Frank Ogawa Plaza for a passionate but peaceful demonstration.
Fewer people gathered than on previous nights–which drew crowds of between 2,000 and 7,000–but protesters expressed a need to come together in solidarity to condemn Donald Trump’s election and what they called state-sanctioned hate and violence.
A woman with a megaphone rallied the crowd, saying, “This is bigger than Donald Trump. This is bigger than hate! We need to ask ourselves, ‘What is it that made them follow this man who spewed this hate?’”
A man in a wheelchair took the megaphone and recounted being attacked earlier that day by men he felt had been emboldened by Trump. Nearby, Valerie Carroll carried her baby on her chest and teared up as she spoke. “I’m here with my son. I don’t want to raise my child where hate is in power,” she said.
Protesters marched up and down Broadway, carrying signs that read, “Trump says Jim Crow. We say hell no!” and “Rigged twice. Bernie is my president!”
An effigy of Trump dangled above the crowd; one marcher adorned herself with a United Farm Workers flag.
They repeated a chant from previous nights: “Fuck Trump! Fuck KKK! Fuck the fascist USA!”
Bystanders cheered the passing crowd from sidewalks and storefronts and some joined in shouting, “Fuck Trump!” Margarite Rischard, 72, marched in high heels alongside protesters, most of whom were a third her age. “God told me to come out here,” she said. She said she hoped her presence would keep young and angry protesters peaceful. “I’m not going to leave you,” she told them.
Rischard, who is African-American, said, “I lived through Reagan and all of them. But to me [Trump] is the worst because of what he said about women. He is the antichrist.”
Police blocked side streets and around 40 officers gathered in front of the Oakland Police Department headquarters to direct the group to turn around and continue back up Broadway. One police van trailed the crowd. The tenor of interactions between police and protesters was relatively unheated. One protester walked down the line of officers at OPD headquarters, flipping off each officer. One simply looked up from his phone to smile and wave back.
When one protester was detained around 8:45pm, tensions rose but did not escalate into a confrontation.
Ryan Miller, a Marine veteran, said he was here to make sure everyone is safe and able to peacefully protest. Miller compared the protest to previous nights, saying, “This pales in comparison.” He said, “Whether it is 60 or 6,000, I’ll be out here.”
Ryan wore a Marine hat and unfurled an upside down American flag which replaced stars with corporation logos.
“You can still join in,” Miller said to the line of officers.
“Not tonight,” one replied.
“Maybe tomorrow,” Miller said.
As protesters continued marching and chanting, a man jumped out of his car and stopped them. He held up a homemade sign covered in baby pictures and screamed, “My kid died in these streets! Where were you then? You people are tearing up my city.”
Some demonstrators, who were white, encouraged the crowd to move on and “ignore him,” but a few young black protesters paused. “Wait. How are you going to keep walking, right?” one asked quietly.
Story by Margaret Katcher. Photo slideshow assembled by Sofia Melo. Reporting and photography by Khaled Sayed, Mary Newman, Rachel Cassandra, Cassady Rosenblum, Rosa Furneaux and Brian Krans.