On Tuesday, a meeting of the Oakland City Council was disrupted–and taken over–by radical demonstrators. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that after the mayor’s 5 p.m. budget presentation began, protesters led by the groups Black.Seed, and Asians4BlackLives crowded into the building, shouting their anger over a proposal to sell public land adjacent to Lake Merritt so housing developer UrbanCore can build an apartment tower.
— Kevin Ksen (@pdmt99) May 6, 2015
After the budget presentation finished, protestors took over the chamber. Some carried bullhorns, and others carried yoga mats that held tubes to allow the protesters to link arms. The members of the council fled to another room rather than call for the roughly dozen police officers in the chambers, including Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent, to offer aid.
The protesters convened their own meeting, which was broadcast on the council’s official TV broadcast. One council member later told the Chronicle that he was concerned about the security risk the protest represented.
Representatives of small businesses who were supposed to receive a special commendation never had their moment; other activists hoping to protest police actions were unable to make their voices heard.