Protesters Blockade Oakland Police Department in Early-Morning Action

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 (Andrew Stelzer/KQED)

Note: Post edited to update number of protesters, arrests and other details.

As many as 200 protesters blocked entrances to the Oakland Police Department headquarters, nearby intersections and a freeway off-ramp early Monday, leading to 25 arrests.

Singing and chanting slogans like, "Show us what solidarity looks like; this is what solidarity looks like," demonstrators stopped traffic on a two-block stretch of lower Broadway in downtown Oakland most of the morning.

It's the latest in a three-week series of actions focused on police violence against African-Americans -- protests first touched off by a St. Louis County, Missouri, grand jury's decision not to indict an officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.

One of the organizers, Jova Johnson Vargas, says the protests will continue until police change.


"We're here to let them know peacefully and nonviolently that we see them, and we will resist them until this ends," she said.

The protest included white, Asian-American and Latino activists in addition to African-Americans, and the action was orchestrated so that no African-American participants would be arrested.

"That's significant because black people are proportionally disenfranchised when it comes to arrests," Johnson Vargas said. "Our allies are here so that none of us have to be arrested. They're here as a way to show the world that there's a way to organize and be in solidarity. And for us being in solidarity means not having black folk be arrested."

Gopal Dayaneni, with Asians for Black Lives, was one of a group of Asian-American protesters arrested after locking themselves to a police station door.

“There is a war on black people in American today, and it’s our responsibility to step up," he said. "And the path to the liberation of all our communities travels through the liberation of black people in Americas.”

Several entrances to the Police Department building, on Broadway between Sixth and Seventh streets in downtown Oakland, were blocked before 8 a.m. by protesters who chained themselves together. Activists, also chained together and bearing placards and banners with the message "Silence is Violence," stretched across Broadway at both Sixth and Seventh and also blocked the bottom of the Broadway off-ramp from northbound Interstate 880.

One of the demonstrators climbed the flagpole outside the OPD's entrance. A group of protesters chained themselves together at the bottom of the flagpole.

Oakland police said during the action that the protesters were very well organized and very cooperative with officers.