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 Detroit, Ann Arbor, and other cities across the country.
In D.C., activists locked themselves with chains to the steps of the Fraternal Order of Police. Several arrests were made.
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: