Oakland Shuts Down as Protesters Gather

Most businesses in Oakland's Chinatown closed early Thursday as a  precaution in response to the announcement of the Mehserle verdict, according  to Carl Chan, an Oakland Chinatown community leader.
Chan said he witnessed protesters marching through Chinatown after  the death of Oscar Grant, so he and other community members decided to put  out word to the community to be prepared in the event violence breaks out,  though he was not aware of any yet Thursday.
At about 2 p.m. when they learned the jury had reached a  verdict, merchants in Chinatown began pulling in merchandise from sidewalks  and closing their doors. Chan said most believed that people would not be  dining out or shopping anyway.

Several groups began gathering in downtown Oakland Thursday evening in  the wake of the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Mehserle.
A spokeswoman for the Oakland General Assembly for Justice for  Oscar Grant says the group will hold a rally at 6 p.m. at Broadway and 14th  Street.
Other groups, including By Any Means Necessary, also plan to join  the 6 p.m. rally.
Oakland City Councilwoman Desley Brooks said in a statement that a  separate rally, sponsored by the Community Working for Peace, Healing and  Justice, will be held at Frank Ogawa Plaza near the corner of Broadway and  14th Street from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Brooks said the rally will include religious leaders, family and  friends of Grant, elected officials and live music.
Five community centers and youth organizations have been listed on  the city of Oakland's website as places for people to "express yourself in  positive ways."
The locations are the East Bay Asian Youth Center at 2025 E. 12th  St.; the Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center at 7701 Krause Ave.; the Mosswood  Recreation Center at 3612 Webster St.; Youth UpRising at 8711 MacArthur  Blvd.; and Attitudinal Healing Connection at 3278 West St.
A statement was released by Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts,  Mayor Ron Dellums and the City Council encouraging the community to  "express...grief in a healthy manner that will not endanger our safety,  livelihood or reputation as a city."
"We are asking for the community to come together, look out for  one another and stay safe," the statement read. "We will not tolerate  destruction or violence. We live here, and we love Oakland."

Copyright BAYCN - Bay City News
Contact Us