CALIFORNIA — In the wake of George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict demonstrations quickly followed throughout the US. Zimmerman, the man who killed 17-yr-old Trayvon Martin was charged with 2nd-degree Murder, but was set free Saturday evening by a jury of six women, five White and one Asian juror. Hundreds flowed out into the streets that evening in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles among cities throughout the US—the largest in NYC. Although some windows were broken and flags set alight in Oakland, the media-hyped riots failed to materialize. Further demonstrations occurred Sunday evening throughout California and in other major cities in the US. In Los Angeles, hundreds blocked freeway 10 for some 30 minutes Sunday afternoon. Police fired non-lethal rounds into the crowd of demonstrators in LA.
In Oakland, perhaps at its zenith, as many as a thousand marched through downtown. The Oakland march culminated in blocking the intersection of 14th and Broadway for several hours.
More demonstrations are planned.
Monday, demonstrations continued throughout the state. In Oakland, hundreds if not closer to a thousand demonstrators briefly took over a freeway near downtown, rechristening it the Travyon Martin Freeway. Oakland demonstrators continued to march, returning to Oscar Grant Plaza, then headed toward the Fruitvale BART Station. Poignantly, the recent Sundance award winning film, “Fruitvale Station” premiered in Oakland over the weekend coinciding with the verdict of George Zimmerman. The film centers around the last 48 hours of Oscar Grant, a black youth killed while cuffed and laying on the ground by BART Police officer Johannes Mehserle. Subsequently, demonstrators swept around Lake Merritt, forced to find new routes due to a heavier police presence than the past two days of marches. Demonstrators circled around Lake Merritt, then moved towards the highway 580 on-ramp. Police blocked demonstrators from entering 580, so demonstrators turned around and continued towards the Fruitvale BART Station with locked arms. However, demonstrators later turned back, paused in front of the county courthouse for a few moments, then returned to Oscar Grant Plaza around 10:30pm. The march promptly resumed leaving a trail of smashed windows, including a Comerica bank and a Men’s Warehouse. Police (with mutual aid) confronted demonstrators following the property destruction, leading to a tense stand off. Police shot tear gas at demonstrators, receiving a response of firecrackers. Police then delivered a dispersal order. Demonstrators left the police line and marched North and reportedly continued smashing corporate businesses. One live streamer was confronted and assaulted by an individual, purportedly for filming the property destruction; the streamer’s footage doesn’t appear to have captured anything illicit. Several arrests occurred throughout the night, but the march continued past 11pm, although it was largely dispersed by 11:25pm.
In Los Angeles, a rally began Monday evening at Leimert Park, then descended into Crenshaw Blvd. Reportedly, demonstrators marching through Crenshaw participated in property destruction, including vandalizing shops, cars, and police cruisers. Shortly before 10pm, police kettled and dispersed the crowd at the corner of Leimert and MLK. Some time after the 10pm dispersal, LAPD arrested a small crowd of demonstrators.
List of Demonstrations for July 15
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