"Baltimore, we've got your back!"
That was one of the chants shouted by a small group of activists marching through the streets of Oakland on Monday night. They came out to express solidarity with protesters in Baltimore, where riots have followed the death and funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American man who apparently suffered fatal injuries while in police custody.
Some marchers handed out fliers to bystanders that promoted another day of protest against police violence this Friday, May Day, when members of Occupy Oakland and workers at the Port of Oakland are planning to shut down operations there and join other demonstrations happening across the country.
On Monday, Oakland protesters marched peacefully through streets in downtown and West Oakland while bicyclists cleared the path ahead of the group of roughly 75 to 100 people. Police kept their distance and stood by to monitor, as some protesters flipped them off and yelled expletives in their direction.
The group marched past City Hall and blocked the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway. Many stood and chatted, while some used a bullhorn to call for more action. Eventually, protesters made their way down Broadway to Oakland Police Department headquarters, and shortly thereafter most participants went their separate ways.