Dear Oakland Community,
The City of Oakland is aware of a planned gathering starting at 7 pm at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza tonight, August 28, and possibly continuing through the weekend.
The group promoting this event is the same group that came to Oakland on Wednesday night, which resulted in broken windows at 21 businesses—including many windows of a 100% affordable housing complex on Grand Avenue and damage to a locally owned restaurant that has been serving meals to vulnerable seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also lit more than two dozen fires across the greater downtown/Lake Merritt area.
We stand with our community for justice, equality, and accountability. We support the reasons why people across the country are taking to the streets to express their outrage and frustration during this time of national reckoning about persistent racial injustice. In Oakland, we celebrate passionate protest. But any individuals or organized groups that gather with the intent to cause damage, that splinter off to break windows and light fires, are harming our already vulnerable businesses, many of which are owned by people of color, and hurting our community.
We remind Oaklanders that when they march after dark, they may be providing cover for these groups, who seem more intent on vandalism and stoking civil unrest than advancing social justice.
Oakland will continue to facilitate peaceful protests and demonstrations, and we ask those organizing marches and gatherings to ensure their events and the participants in them remain peaceful. The Oakland Police Department has increased staffing to provide safe space for the demonstrations to occur and will facilitate free speech while maintaining public safety.
We are providing this update in our effort to keep you informed so that you may plan accordingly. Businesses along commercial corridors are advised to secure outdoor fixtures, furniture, and trash and recycling receptacles. Please share this information with your employees, neighbors and tenants. OPD uses a free, web-based application called NIXLE to provide timely updates to our community about traffic disruptions or suggested alternate transportation routes. If you have not yet signed up for NIXLE, we encourage you to do so. Text your zip code to 888777 to opt-in, or visit www.nixle.com.