Protestors heading down 14th Street towards Alameda Courthouse. Monica Cadena, Wear Your Voice Mag
Thousands gathered in various cities across the U.S to protest grand juries decision in separate cases not to indict police officers in the killings of unarmed black men. In New York, Washington D.C, San Francisco and Oakland, the “Millions March” served as a peaceful call to action to hold police accountability.
In Oakland, demonstrations began at 2pm on 14th Street and Broadway at Frank Ogawa Plaza (nicknamed Oscar Grant Plaza, after the 23 year old man who was killed by Bart Police New Year’s Day, 2009.) There, organizers spoke, emphasizing the peaceful nature of the gathering, encouraging those to shame crowdgoers who exhibited unwelcome behavior. Before the crowd dispersed to its final destination of Alameda County Courthouse, people of color were asked to come to the front, where the crowd made way to children, women and men who lead the march down 14th Street towards Lake Merritt.
Once at the courthouse, speakers took to the stage as thousands gathered on the steps and in the streets. Poets, singers and activists expressed their frustrations to the crowd, among them, mother of Oscar Grant. Students and protestors from Berkeley marched in around 3pm, where they brought news that effigies were found hanging around the campus earlier in the morning. There was a brief moment of disruption as coalition group B.A.M.N (By Any Means Necessary) attempted to take hold of the stage. The march concluded at roughly 4pm, where organizers offered healing and legal aid stations back at Oscar Grant Plaza.
While the official march had concluded, demonstrators independently took to the streets, briefly shutting down Posey tubes towards Alameda; close to 50 were arrested. By 10:30pm the majority of the remaining crowd had dispersed.