Freedom Now Demonstrators Shut Down Oakland Police Officers’ Association

Above Photo: original image

Following the recent wave of demonstrations nationwide after the police murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, a call went out for Freedom Now protests on July 21 targeting the support infrastructure for police oppression, especially police “unions” for their constant and unequivocal defense of cops accused of brutality. In Oakland, the offices of the Oakland Police Officer’s Association were shut down.

On July 20, a day early, Black Lives Matter activists in New York, Washington D.C., and Chicago shut down the offices of their local police associations. Lockdowns and demonstrations were held in DetroitAnn Arbor, and other cities across the country.

In New York, activists used lockboxes inside of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association office. Organizers were arrested in the morning.

In D.C., activists locked themselves with chains to the steps of the Fraternal Order of Police. Several arrests were made.

In Chicago, activists using lockboxes and ladders blocked the street in front of the notorious Homan Square CPD torture facility and twelve were arrested.

At 2pm in Oakland, the offices of the Oakland Police Officer’s Association (OPOA) and two associated businesses were shut down when protesters used U-locks and chains to lock themselves to the front doors. Those at the scene remarked that they were surprised they were able to set up and lock down at the OPOA office after the other similar actions had already occurred that morning on the East Coast.

The Oakland lockdown effectively shutdown the OPOA building for over twelve hours, until 3am, when activists decided to end the lockdown of their own accord in order to rest for actions the following day.

Upwards of two dozen Oakland police were present on foot early on, mostly standing around. Police numbers thinned over time and eventually ten or so just sat in their cars nearby. No attempts were made to cut activists from the doors and there were no arrests.

In the afternoon, an offer was made by Oakland police to skeptical activists to meet them for a barbecue at some point in the future. Meanwhile, unknown to those present at the time, the OPOA was threatening city officials with a lawsuit over the proposed ballot measure for a new Oakland Police Commission. As of this writing it appears that the City Council will kowtow to the OPA and gut the police commission proposal.

For more on the Oakland Freedom now actions:

OPOA office building on 5th Street

OPOA office building on 5th Street

U-locks around necks and door handles at OPOA main entrance

U-locks around necks and door handles at OPOA main entrance

Defund OPD

Defund OPD

Divest from the War on Blackness — Invest in Black Health

Divest from the War on Blackness — Invest in Black Health

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

Oakland Fire Department examines possibility of cutting door handle

Oakland Fire Department examines possibility of cutting door handle

One of those locked down volunteers to temporarily unlock

One of those locked down volunteers to temporarily unlock

SF Police Credit Union is fully locked down again

SF Police Credit Union is fully locked down again

Addressing why the demand is Freedom Now

Addressing why the demand is Freedom Now

sm_freedomnow-opoa-oakland_20160720_011

sm_freedomnow-opoa-oakland_20160720_012

Two Oakland cops maintain a position on the balcony above credit union

Two Oakland cops maintain a position on the balcony above credit union

By early evening, blankets and neck pillows come out at OPOA entrance

By early evening, blankets and neck pillows come out at OPOA entrance

Plenty of food and drink for everyone is donated

Plenty of food and drink for everyone is donated

Invest in Black Health, Galls cop chainstore still locked down

Invest in Black Health, Galls cop chainstore still locked down

Credit union still locked down

Credit union still locked down

Black Lives Matter banner displayed for passing cars on 5th Street

Black Lives Matter banner displayed for passing cars on 5th Street

Drivers honked in support throughout

Drivers honked in support throughout

By 4am, protesters were gone and police cut chains left behind on doors, removed signs

By 4am, protesters were gone and police cut chains left behind on doors, removed signs