It’s not abundantly clear what the protesters who flooded the MacArthur rapid transit station Friday morning really wanted in the first place. Their message of “social justice” was rather vague, although the signs reading, “Die Techie Scum” and the chosen location for this protest suggest that perhaps they were angry about employed people. They did make getting to work difficult for a decent amount of commuters trying to use the transit station. That’s about all they accomplished, aside from doing a great deal of damage to their local small businesses.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said that “violence would not be tolerated,” but later admitted that she and the police chief had “failed to anticipate” or prevent violence and vandalism breaking out. Even after protesters began smashing any window they could get in range of and destroying any car unlucky enough to be parked nearby, Schaaf kept her rose tinted glasses on while reporting on the event. Oakland protests generally do turn into riots. This was nothing that could not have been anticipated.
“A very small group of people with rocks in their pockets and malice in their hearts disturbed what was otherwise a positive day in Oakland,” she said. I suppose she considers employees in the technology field being forced to walk past signs telling them to die on their way to work a positive thing.
Local business owner Joe Abraham immigrated here in 1978 has since opened up American Auto Upholstery and Glass in Oakland. The front windows to his business were smashed by rioters- for the third time- on Friday.
“If they are mad at the police, let them go to the police station. What are they gaining besides breaking my window?”