Protest-Inspired Artwork: ‘Something People Won't Forget in the City of Oakland'

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Downtown Oakland may have felt like the Wild West the last couple of days, but there’s an image that has resonated with many -- a mural of a woman and her horse.

“This is one of those pictures that go on history books,” said Oakland artist Pancho Pescadero.

A video went viral Friday night of a black woman riding an 18,000-pound horse in the heart of Oakland. With her fist in the air, a Black Lives Matter sign slung over the horse’s back.

Like millions around the world, Martinez resident Brianna Noble was outraged by the death of George Floyd. So she did something she’d never done before – she brought her horse, Dapper Dan, to a protest.

“Where I feel powerful is on top of my horse’s back,” she said. “I decided to bring him down to Oakland and see if I can give cameras something to look and get cameras away from some of the destruction that was going on.”

It didn’t take long for hundreds of peaceful demonstrators to follow her lead.

“I’m really proud of you, what you did that day,” Pescadero said. “It’s something people won’t forget in the city of Oakland.”

He was so inspired by Noble that he spray-painted this mural on the plywood that shields the windows of Luka’s Taproom.

“This is what I wanted – a way to make a change,” said Noble.

Pescadero hopes the Oakland Museum of California will eventually take the boards and create an exhibit for them.  

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