Safe Oakland: Black families rally to support police while ‘mostly White’ protesters heckle cops

Several people went on to the streets to support police and in what a journalist called a 'surreal' moment, Black families rallied to support the department while 'mostly white Antifa' protested against it


                            Safe Oakland: Black families rally to support police while ‘mostly White’ protesters heckle cops
A scene from the July 10 rally (Twitter/ @lhfang)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: A few weeks ago, lawmakers in Oakland voted in favor of deducting funds from the Oakland police department, which faced a lot of criticisms. Several people then went on to the streets to support police and in what a journalist called a “surreal” moment, Black families rallied to support the department while “mostly white” Antifa protested against it.

According to reports, a rally -- dubbed as ‘Stand Up for a Safe Oakland’ -- was held on Saturday, July 10, which was led by Oakland police chief LeRonne Armstrong. Armstrong was joined by other community leaders and city residents to mourn victims of gun violence. But journalist Lee Fang of The Intercept said he witnessed a “surreal” moment during the rally. He reported, “Surreal moment in Oakland. About 200 mostly black families rally with police to call for an end to the epidemic of gun violence. Mothers at the stage mourning recently murdered children. In the back, less than a dozen mostly white antifa protesters assembled to jeer them.”

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A video from the scene also showed aged Black people arguing with the Antifa protesters, who blamed police for the deaths in Oakland. A woman yelled, “No,” when protesters accused police of the crimes. A Black man added: “That's a lie, that's a lie.” Sharing the video of the rally, Fang wrote, “Dramatic confrontation before I got there. A lot of the anti-violence activists from East Oakland said they were disappointed in the white anti-police antifa protesters, said they seemed close minded and disconnected from the actual violence in the city.”



 

Chief Armstrong also addressed the crowd as he said, reported by KPIX-TV, “Listen, when they gave me this job I told you I was going to be honest with you. I told you I was going to fight for African-American people in the city. Ain’t nothing changed.” He continued, “You can shout from wherever you come from. It don’t matter to me because I’ve lost people as a result of gun violence. So you can’t tell me what this day is about,” before adding, “The fact of the matter is, far too many people are afraid to come outside. Our seniors can’t walk to the store. Young people are dying at an alarming rate. If you can’t stand up for safe Oakland, what do you stand up for?”



 

Carl Chan, president of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, was also present at the rally. He stated, “Different races, different backgrounds but one message that’s quite strong. Let’s work together and keep our city safe.” And, Petra Brady of the African-American Chamber of Commerce, added: “We felt it was very important to support our police department and support our city. We have to live here. We believe in safety just like everyone else does.”

People protesting against police (Twitter/ @lhfang)

Meanwhile, people on Twitter also expressed their views over the whole scenario. One user tweeted, “Only people who live in safe communities want to do away with police, those who bear the brunt of crime day and night don’t want that at all.” The second one noted, “I don't understand the "defund police" crowd. Murders are up in Oakland. How are people supposed to feel safe? How will the families of the victim get justice? I believe there should be some police reform. They need to accountable. But taking away money with no solution isn't it.” “Great to see. The “defund the police” ANTIFA crowd don’t live where gang violence is a daily occurrence. They want chaos and really don’t care who is impacted,” a third added.



 



 



 

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