Millions March Oakland: A Look Beyond the Violence

HOT TOPICS ▶ Target: Iran     The Real Baltimore     Reality Asserts Itself     United Kingdom    

  December 17, 2014

Millions March Oakland: A Look Beyond the Violence

Several thousand people gathered at Millions March Oakland on December 13 to protest the killings of unarmed black men Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Protesters critique mainstream media's focus on vandalism and looting instead of Oakland Police Department's violent history.
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

Supporting TRNN is a little like having my own television station. I can watch whatever I find interesting and at any time. I also enjoy the privilege of publishing my opinions on Disqus. - Gregory
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


JULIA MULDAVIN, PRODUCER, OAKLAND, CA: Several thousand stood in solidarity for Black Lives Matter and Oakland's Millions March on December 13, many wearing masks with the haunting last words of Eric Garner, "I Can't Breathe."

CHINASA OZONSI, LEAD ORGANIZER FOR MILLIONS MARCH OAKLAND: The main difference of this protest is that it's family-oriented and community-oriented. And our agenda is peace. We are going to magnify the inhumanity and the evil of the police state by displaying our naked humanity for the world to see.

MULDAVIN: Many protesters critique the predominantly violent narrative of the protest in mainstream media, especially out of context of the history of the Oakland Police Department.

JULION, PROTESTER: We don't trust the media. Nobody trusts the media. They use the word violence. Breaking property is not violence. When they say violence, most people, if they hear the word violence, they're thinking we're hitting people and actually injuring people.

CAT BROOKS, COCHAIR, ONYX ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: What the media is not covering is the emergence of black power and black leadership in this movement. What they're choosing to cover are the handful of white folks that want to cover their faces and break windows. They're not talking about the people of color that are also engaging in those tactics and what the motivation behind those tactics may be.

MULDAVIN: Following a civil lawsuit about police brutality in 2003, the Oakland Police Department was put under federal oversight. In 2012, they had still failed to comply with the reforms outlined in the settlement.

CROWD: No justice, no peace! Say what? No racist police!

BROOKS: Of course there's Oscar Grant, right, that, as far as I'm concerned, the international phenomenon that that created laid the foundation for a lot of the work that we've seen around police terrorism ever since. But you've got Gary King, you've got Alan Blueford. Most recently you've got Jacorey Calhoun, which--he wasn't as known about, because he was one of the, like, seven black people that were killed just a month after Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson.

MULDAVIN: Similar to Michael Brown, Oscar Grant became a symbol of the repetitive killings of unarmed black men by police officers after his fatal shooting in the Fruitvale BART station on January 1, 2009.

WENDY JOHNSON, MOTHER OF OSCAR GRANT: It makes me carry out my son's legacy and to remind what my son was doing when he was on the platform. He stood up for his friend's life and wanted to talk to someone in charge, and he ended up losing his life [snip] that I'm standing up to bring awareness that all lives, black lives, matter.

CROWD: I believe that we will win!

MULDAVIN: Unlike the protests that have been taking place at night, there was a stronger presence of mothers that came to the Alameda Courthouse to speak out against police aggression against black children.

MONICA BROOKS, PROTESTER: --and you're afraid that the police are going to hurt you, then you can't even go to the store without that fear. And as a parent, you can't let your child go anywhere.

VISHAY HARVEY, PROTESTER: My son is paranoid now, as, I mean, all his friends are. The police get anywhere near them and they're afraid.

MULDAVIN: The night brought a very different approach in-crowd than earlier in the day. The protesters traversed over a dozen miles across the city of Oakland, blocking traffic with bikes, bodies, and music.

TARIK LOGAN, PROTESTER: We want our voice to be heard. That's been the whole point of this protest. That's why we're here. We're angry, but we're peaceful too.

MULDAVIN: Most protesters did remain peaceful, though some acts of vandalism sprinkled throughout the night. Minutes after the first window was smashed, the police pursued protesters throughout the city and eventually kettled them between city blocks.

Though dozens were arrested on top of the hundreds that were arrested earlier this week, the protesters plan on continuing to occupy the streets.


DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at

latest stories

From Net Neutrality to Tax Cuts, Trump's Billionaires are Having a Field Day
The Fight for Net Neutrality Isn't Over
Will Kirwan Consider Race When Recommending Fixes to Maryland Schools?
US Strikes Out with New War-Mongering on Iran
Fight Within UK Labour Party Pits Career Politicians Against Radicals
TRNN Exclusive: The man that "shoed" Bush
Democracy in Crisis: Law & Order Dumb-Dumb
Putin 'Quite Muted' in Response to Russian Olympic Doping Scandal
World Bank and World's Third Largest Insurer Divest from Most Oil and Gas
Ecuador's Vice-President Sentenced to Six Years Prison for Corruption
Children's Health Insurance Program to Expire Under GOP Tax Bill
Undoing the New Deal: Truman Embraces the Cold War (pt4)
Putin's Syria 'Victory' Won't End the Proxy War
Palestinians Stand Up to Israel, Will the World?
Baltimore Beat & TRNN: Is Having a White CEO in a Majority Black City a Problem? (3/4)
Can Baby Bonds Help Close Baltimore's Wealth Gap?
Digital Dystopia: FCC Ends Net Neutrality
Judge in J20 Case Drops Inciting Riot Charge But Condemns Journalism as Conspiracy
Nina Turner on Alabama Vote & Democratic Party Unity Reform Comission
Virtually No Economist Believes the GOP Tax Bill Will Generate Much Growth
Baltimore Beat & TRNN: Why Baltimore? (2/4)
Partisan Clash over Trump-Russia Probe Gets Messier
Honduras' Flawed Vote Recount: A Cover-Up for Fraud?
Jones Wins, Bannon Loses in Alabama Special Election
Racism and Trumpism in Alabama
Cities vs. Climate Change: Can Infrastructures Handle Extreme Weather?
Baltimore Beat & TRNN: Who's Your Audience? (1/4)
Can Pennsylvania Draw the Line on Partisan Gerrymandering?
Voter Suppression and Outright Fraud Continue to Plague Alabama
Forced Privatization of The Greek Port of Piraeus, One Year Later,, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Web Design, Web Development and Managed Hosting