Calls For Peaceful Oakland Protests Heard At Latest Zimmerman Verdict Rally
OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Hundreds fanned out in the streets of Oakland Friday night demanding justice for Trayvon Martin, but much of the talk on the streets was about the need for peaceful protest.
Those taking part were outraged by the verdict in the George Zimmerman case, but what Joe Vazquez found Friday night was a debate about how best to voice those concerns.
Among those in attendance was a group of guys in the ties that called themselves the ‘Black Men United Group’. During the rally, they pleaded with fellow protesters to stop attacking local businesses.
“Everybody has a little venting to do, but there’s more positive ways you can vent than damage the same people that’s giving your brother, sisters, your mom and dad jobs,” said Black Men United member Marchon Tatmon. “We don’t get nothing but a ruined city.”
Also in the crowd were men in masks…including Zachary Running Wolf, of Berkeley, who we’ve seen at many protests through the years on a variety of causes. Running Wolf said he doesn’t see the broken windows as a negative.
“You have Chase Manhattan getting 21 trillion dollars, then asking the people to pay that back,” said Running Wolf, who said he doesn’t condone violence against people doesn’t see the problem with smashing windows. “We’re talking about inanimate objects.”
There were no reports of damage Friday night, a stark contrast from last weekend’s protests, during which vandals caused extensive damage to local businesses. Several arrests were made in connection with those rallies, which took place over three nights.
Oakland police have said they will have every available officer on the streets for larger protests planned for tomorrow.
Zimmerman, 29, shot Martin, 17, on Feb. 26th, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. A neighborhood watch coordinator, Zimmerman argued the shooting, which sparked national controversy, was in self-defense.
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)