Friday, January 9, 2009

Oakland Cleans Up

By Chris Thompson
Fri, Jan 9, 2009 at 5:58 AM

The crowd has long dispersed, but Oakland's merchants are still cleaning up their stores. The mob hit shops all along Broadway; Max Allstadt, who comments on a variety of Oakland blogs, followed the riot and posted a running account of the night at A Better Oakland. The San Francisco Chronicle has an account of how protest organizers spent hours setting up what was supposed to be a peaceful event, only to break down in tears as angry men and women trashed the city. The Oakland Tribune reports that the mother of Oscar Grant, who was killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, is pleading with Oakland citizens to calm down and stop the rioting. The Trib also has an intriguing breakdown of those who were arrested during the riot: at least 37 from Oakland, 5 from Berkeley, and 5 from San Francisco. All of the remaining 120 arrestees hailed from just about every Bay Area city you can think of. "One man told police he was from Indianapolis, officials said." Yesterday, businesses all over downtown shut down early in case crowds came back for more. Just blocks away, a group of angry protesters raised hell at the BART board of directors, which was coincidentally scheduled to meet yesterday. The whole affair was summed up by a local merchant, as quoted in the Tribune: "People already don't want to move to Oakland or bring businesses here. And here we are in 2009, starting off with change with a new president, and then we have people acting like this."

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