Oakland businesses are bracing for anti-Trump protests on inauguration weekend, fearing that left-wing activists are once again about to go on a violent rampage that will trash local businesses.
Over the the past few years, the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the reality of broken windows — and worse — has become a regular cost of doing business in the city.
The Oakland area is traditionally home to a variety of left-wing activist groups, often centered around the University of California Berkeley and surrounding communities.
But recent years have seen protests turn violent, starting with the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011, and again with the Black Lives Matter movement in 2014, which saw clashes with police in Oakland as well as Berkeley.
Now the left’s rejection of Donald Trump has provided a new pretext for violent rioting.
The Chronicle adds:
“After the November protests, we were really saddened by how many businesses were hurt, which was counterintuitive to what people were protesting,” said Barbara Leslie, president and CEO of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, who added that 85 percent of Oakland’s economy is made up of small businesses.
The Oakland Indie Alliance, a group of more than 50 independently owned Oakland restaurants, sent a letter to Mayor Libby Schaff and new Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick that said the businesses are “deeply concerned” about the protests planned for after the inauguration.
“We have become the local punching bag for these protests and it is unhelpful and unfair,” the letter said, in addition to calling for a “better balance of free speech and commercial interests.”
Since 2014, Oakland has experienced at least 205 unpermitted and permitted marches, according to the city administrator’s office. There were more than 60 reports of vandalism or broken windows during the recent Trump protest, which some city officials described as some of the worst damage Oakland has experienced.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.