PALO ALTO (CBS SF) — Two rallies to support protesters in Portland were planned for Saturday in the Bay Area, one in Palo Alto near Stanford University and the other in downtown Oakland.
The rally in Palo Alto is set for 1 p.m. at Embarcadero and El Camino Real, according to the group Wall of Moms Bay Area.
The second event will start at 7:30 p.m. at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza at 14th Street and Broadway in Oakland, according to organizers that include the Wall of Moms Bay Area, Refuse Fascism Bay Area and Vigil for Democracy.
The Wall of Moms group is encouraging participants are encouraged to wear yellow and bring sunflowers. All must wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Reject secret federal police in our cities, and celebrate our right to gather peacefully and protest,” the moms group Facebook page states.
Portland has seen nearly two months of protests since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Federal officers were sent by President Donald Trump to protect federal property in the city, but their presence has escalated tensions and drawn several other groups to the protests.
Trump has also proposed deploying federal police to several other cities including Oakland.
Mayor Libby Schaaf and the Oakland Police Department both voiced opposition to Trump’s plans.
“I’m gonna do something, that I can tell you. Because we are not gonna let New York, and Chicago, and Philadelphia, and Detroit, and Baltimore, and all of these – Oakland is a mess, we’re not gonna let this happen in our country. All run by liberal democrats,” Trump said during a press conference this week.
In Oakland, local officials point out, there have been no violent protests for weeks.
During his regular update on California’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom was asked about the President’s comments as to whether he had received a heads up about the possibility of law enforcement being sent to Oakland or any other California city and what his response would be to the idea.
“The answer is no and we would reject it,” Newsom replied.
Schaaf offered a more detailed response.
“Oakland needs COVID relief – not troops – from our President,” Schaaf said during an interview Monday. “He should stop slandering diverse, progressive cities like Oakland in his racist dog whistles and divisive campaign tactics.”
Schaaf went on to note that her city had not been disrupted by any recent protests
“We are not experiencing any civil unrest right now. But the presence of Trump-ordered military troops to Oakland would likely incite it,” Schaaf added.
Barry Donelan, president of the Oakland Police Officers Association, echoed those sentiments.
“There have absolutely been protests, but those essentially have been peaceful protests and the police deployment has been minimal at these. People are exercising their first amendment right and I think it’s been really positive all the way around,” he said. “So I’m not really sure what this sudden need for federal resources on the streets of Oakland is.”
The Oakland Police Department said it will not request federal assistance to address crowd management.