Oakland Marchers Turn Out to Support Baltimore; More Protests on Way

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Oakland protesters block the intersection of Broadway and 14th streets, marching in solidarity against the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. (Devin Katayama/KQED)

"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.


But one group marched back north to the Uptown district, where windows were smashed at the Dogwood bar and restaurant at 17th Street and Telegraph Avenue.

Owner Alexeis Filipello said Tuesday she wasn't present at the time, but got a call from one of her bartenders. She said she was told someone masked and wearing all black took a hammer to the bar's large windows -- at least the fourth smashed window inflicted on her bar during a protest since it opened four years ago, she said.

"We're so used to dealing with the protest stuff," she said.

But that doesn't make it any easier. Filipello supported the Occupy movement, she said. She supported the essence of Monday's protest, too, which in part rallied against disproportionate police killings of minority people.

"You guys don't get that I am totally in support," she said.

Meanwhile, Filipello said she weighs the cost of doing business in a city that is growing and wants to be better, despite its many systemic problems, and people who show they're frustrated by attacking her bar.

Workers at the Port of Oakland are planning to shut down the port Friday during its first shift from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to protest police violence, according to San Francisco Business Times.

At the request of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10, its monthly labor meeting has been moved. That time will instead reportedly be used to rally against police violence.

"The temporary suspension isn't expected to have lasting effect on port operations," said Mike Zampa, spokesman for the Port of Oakland.

The port will reopen for its second shift, he said.