A large crowd of demonstrators at Oakland City Hall rallied well after the 8 p.m. curfew imposed by the city Wednesday.
Police said they could stay as long as they’d like so long as they remained peaceful.
Some participants had deeply personal reasons for being there, others felt they needed to be there for each other.
“The fact that I'm here and breathing for Breana Taylor or George Floyd, still using my body to be part of this movement is extremely important, regardless of the consequences,” said Oakland resident Sunnie Smith.
The rally was in direct defiance against a curfew imposed Monday night after violence, vandalism and looting erupted over the weekend.
“We all need to stand up for each other, we can't be silenced, it's our right to be here to speak so we have to do that, we have to be here,” said Oakland resident Ava Kravitz.
Inerim Oakland Police Chief Susan Manheimer said her officers have no plan on enforcing the curfew, if they don't need to.
“This curfew is a tool to use on violent disruptors, and that is what we'll do, if needed” she said.
Several concerns are being raised about the tactics used by police to disperse crowds - including tear gas.
City Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas says some of her constituents downtown say they've felt the effects of the gas in their own homes.
“I heard from a resident a block away from police headquarters, who on the 14th floor, was getting tear gas coming into their apartment,” said Fortunato Bas.
She's asking the mayor and police chief to stop using tear gas - especially as coronavirus concerns continue.
Manheimer said officers use smoke cannisters only in special situations and under strict guidelines.
Protestors have complained that the focus on vandalism and looting is taking away from the reason why they're here is such large numbers.
They’re there to voice their opposition to police brutality and the tragic death of George Floyd.