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Weekend of Action Around the Bay: Thousands Hit the Streets in Solidarity

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Thousands of vehicles lined up at the Port of Oakland before departing to Oakland and Lake Merritt on Sunday May 31, 2020 afternoon to take part in a caravan protesting the killing of George Floyd and other Black people at the hands of the police. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

Updates for the June 6-7 weekend on the Bay Area's continued response to police violence across the country — the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, the killing of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police and the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery by armed white residents in South Georgia.

Update, 7:40 p.m.:

Alameda — People danced together in protest in front of the city of Alameda's police headquarters Sunday evening, speaking out against a police response to a black man dancing in the street Friday.

Video footage obtained by ABC 7 reportedly shows Mali Watkins, a 44-year-old martial artist, stopped by police for dancing in the street. Neighbors said this was his regular routine.


"I was just doing my normal workout," Watkins told ABC 7.

Watkins was cited for resisting arrest.

Update, 6:50 p.m.:

Oakland — Two-wheeled demonstrators took to Oakland streets Sunday evening, with thousands of bicyclists riding in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Protesters rode their bikes from 14th and Broadway toward the MacArthur BART Station, jingling bicycle bells and chanting "no justice, no peace, no racist police."

Francisco Rocco, a protestor, spoke to KQED while riding his bike Sunday night. He said demonstrations aboard a bike is an environmentally friendly way to agitate for change.

"I used to do the Critical Mass ten years ago in San Francisco and I always enjoyed it, it's a much more clean way of partying, communicating, and also getting places," Rocco said. "If you don't push back on fascism, you've lost the battle. You've gotta be out on the street."

San Francisco — Hundreds of demonstrators marched from San Francisco's wealthy Marina District to the San Francisco Police Department's Central Station, in North Beach.

The march first gathered in front of Marina Middle School Sunday afternoon, one of many marches sprouting in more affluent parts of the Bay Area in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, spurred by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Update, 2:00 p.m.:

Oakland —  An Oakland protest meets police at an I-880 ramp.

Update, 1:00 p.m.:

East Palo Alto — KQED’s Julie Chang was in East Palo Alto where Youth United for Community Action is holding a vigil in memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others killed by police violence.

Update, 11:00 a.m.:

Oakland —  People are painting Black Lives Matter down three city blocks near Oakland's City Hall. Organized by The Hatch and Good Mother Gallery.

Demonstrators march down Market Street to San Francisco City Hall on Sunday May 31, 2020 to protest the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Several groups marched to the Embarcadero, through Union Square and to the Hall of Justice, eventually converging and returning to City Hall. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

Updates from Saturday June 6 —
Update, 10:30 p.m.:

At least 16,000 demonstrators — and likely more —  rallied across the Bay Area Saturday, in roughly 40 publicly announced demonstrations as far south as San Jose and as far north as Petaluma.

More than 10,000 people peacefully crossed the Golden Gate Bridge in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, the California Highway Patrol confirmed, blocking traffic along U.S. Highway 101. Between 3,000 and 4,000 people marched in an extensive protest in Berkeley, observers told Berkeleyside, and roughly 2,000 people marched in Palo Alto, the city's police department said. An estimated 1,000-2,000 people demonstrated in Santa Rosa.

The marches, largely free of violence, arrests and police backlashes that have occasionally permeated other nights of local actions, showcased the Bay Area's growing solidarity with protesters across the nation, from Seattle to New York, according to news reports.

Golden Gate Bridge officials confirmed no incidents during the march across the famed orange-colored span, and a San Francisco Police Department spokesperson confirmed that no arrests were made at a demonstration in the city's Mission District which drew hundreds, Saturday.

Earlier this weekend, change also took place in the halls of government. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced late Friday an end to carotid holds in police training classes, a technique commonly known as a "sleeper hold," which has injured and killed suspects when used by police officers.

In the wake of that news, the police departments of two cities — Davis and Sacramento — both announced Saturday new policies suspending the use of carotid holds.

Update, 6:30 p.m.:

Oakland — Thousands took to the streets in Oakland Saturday to call attention to the Black Lives Matter movement. Juan Toscano Anderson of the Golden State Warriors spoke to the crowd in Oakland Saturday afternoon.

"It's not rocket science that black lives matter," Toscano Anderson said. "just because of the color of our skin they don't matter, they hold less value?"

He added, "I'm a black man, my white brothers that's out here should look at me the same. Equal value to them."

San Francisco — Demonstrators by the thousands peacefully departed the Golden Gate Bridge after a march took over traffic lanes there Saturday, and traffic was restored by the late afternoon, according to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.

Marchers continued down through the Presidio to Lombard Street, hooking around Van Ness Avenue to San Francisco City Hall.

Meanwhile, hundreds of marchers once again called for criminal justice reform and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement at San Francisco's Mission Police Station, sinking to their knees in protest. Four years ago, a group of protesters called the Frisco Five went on a hunger strike outside the same police station to call on the ouster of former San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr, who later resigned.

San Jose — Protesters marched down Santa Clara Street in San Jose, the site of clashes between police and demonstrators earlier this week.

In a press conference Thursday, San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia defended the use of force by his officers, including firing rubber bullets that reportedly injured Derrick Sanderlin, a man who has trained San Jose police against implicit bias.

“This police department is using force in response to a crowd’s behavior," Garcia said at a news conference, Thursday, according to San Jose Spotlight.

Sanderlin told various news outlets he may not be able to have children after the injuries he sustained from San Jose police after they shot him with rubber bullets.

2:00 p.m.:

Palo Alto A large crowd gathered in front of Palo Alto City Hall:

1:55 p.m.: San Francisco

Protesters take over some of the lanes on the Golden Gate Bridge:

1:55 p.m.: Berkeley

Berkeleyside reported a group of protesters gathered in front of the Berkeley Police Department:

12:30 p.m.: San Francisco

A Black Lives Matter march across the Golden Gate Bridge is underway with thousands turning out — stretching across the bridge.

10:00 a.m.: San Francisco

A “Taking a Knee For Change” march at Candlestick Park kicked off at 10 a.m. with a march and then chants of the names of those who have been killed by police.

Members of SEIU Local 1021 and unions throughout the Bay Area came together at Candlestick park — the former site of the San Francisco 49ers stadium to protest police violence and systematic racism.

“We live in an American system of oppression ... people still don’t understand why Kaepernick kneeled,” said Derrick Boutte, Environmental Service Worker at Highland Hospital and SEIU 1021 member in a statement. “We are taking a knee to amplify the voice of oppressed people just like Colin did.”


A list of Bay Area events curated by Sitara Bellum can be found here.

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