Oakland businesses board up windows to prepare for weekend protests

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – The city of Oakland is preparing for a weekend of demonstrations as cities across the country condemn the shooting of Jacob Blake.

City leaders are hoping the march and others expected this weekend stay peaceful and do not devolve into vandalism and destruction.

Businesses in downtown Oakland are boarding up once again.

The fear being destructive outside agitators infiltrating peaceful protesting this weekend.

“I share the righteous rage over police brutality and racial injustice but I urge people to channel that anger into activism not vandalism,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf says of the several people arrested at Wednesday night’s protest none were from Oakland.

But the mayor does not want to continue to see fires and downtown businesses being damaged.

“We will not tolerate this type of vandalism. We are always going to work to hold people accountable and make arrests to people who are going to harm our city,” Schaaf said.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office meanwhile says they’re hands are tied when it comes to helping OPD prevent vandalism and out of control crowds.

Last month, a federal court order restricted Oakland police and outside agencies from using rubber or wooden bullets, stinger grenades, pepper-ball projectiles, and tear gas on demonstrators.

Of the downtown businesses not concerned about the vandalism is “Jusla Eats” run by Oakland native Chef LaLa.

“As business owners, we shouldn’t have to board our businesses. We should be able to be open and free and not have to restrict our hours based on protests,” Chef LaLa said.

The chef says she supports people who want their voices to be heard but also wants it to be peaceful for the sake of their community.

“You know doing it safely. Doing it the appropriate way and not destroying the cities,” Chef LaLa said.

The city says that it stands with the community seeking justice, equality, and accountability but the city also warns many of these gatherings have been happening in the night time which can provide cover for these agitators and take away from the social justice message.

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