Protesters take to the streets of Berkeley; looting, broken windows reported

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Chloee Weiner/Staff

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Berkeley Police Department officers threw smoke bombs, deployed tear gas and formed barricades on major Downtown Berkeley streets Saturday night as individuals among a demonstration against recent grand jury decisions shattered shop windows and blocked traffic.

The demonstrators — forming a crowd that at its peak contained approximately 1,000 participants — began their initially peaceful march at about 5 p.m. on campus at Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue. They protested the decisions not to indict the police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown, a black man shot by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, who died after a New York officer put him in a chokehold.

They also denounced the death of Kayla Moore, a transgender woman who died in police custody in Berkeley last year, and the alleged abduction of 43 students by police in Mexico.

Initially, a few officers followed the demonstrators on bicycles. But a confrontation between protesters and police officers began shortly after the crowd gathered in front of the Berkeley Police Department at around 6 p.m., chanting “hands up, don’t shoot” and “no justice, no peace.” Others chanted “Who killed Kayla Moore? Berkeley PD.” Eventually, more than a hundred police officers formed barricades.

Protesters broke several shop windows and vandalized stores along University Avenue, Trader Joe’s, Wells Fargo and Radio Shack. One officer suffered minor injuries after people in the crowd threw rocks and other objects at police, according to BPD spokesperson Officer Jennifer Coats.

Earlier in the afternoon, several businesses, including Urban Outfitters and American Apparel, boarded up their windows in preparation for the march.

As of 7:45 p.m., police had formed another barricade on Delaware Street and San Pablo Avenue. The protesters as of about 8 p.m. were blocking traffic on University Avenue and Acton Street.

As of 9:30 p.m., more than 100 police officers from Berkeley and Oakland police departments blocked the intersection of Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue. The crowd of protesters had swelled to about 200 and included UC Berkeley students.

Police proceeded to push protesters back on Telegraph and Durant avenues, to which protestors chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, police state has got to go.” Police later surged at the crowd and began putting on gas masks.

About 10:30 p.m., police deployed tear gas. More than 100 protesters were dispersed along Telegraph Avenue, and others called to regroup at People’s Park.

According to an update from Coats about 11 p.m., a small group from the original demonstration continued to march around Telegraph Avenue and 66th Street, throwing rocks, bricks and other objects at officers. The police issued multiple dispersal orders. Two officers have been injured — one of whom required treatment at a hospital — and a police van has allegedly been vandalized.

Berkeley police received support from more than a hundred officers from the Oakland, Pleasanton, Hayward and Alameda police departments, in addition to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol and BART Police Department, according to Coats.

At about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, police were pushing about 100 protestors south on Telegraph Avenue. As of approximately an hour before, police did not yet have a count of the total number of arrests or injuries.

Staff writer Jessie Lau contributed to this report.

Chloee Weiner is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @_chloeew .

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  • millermp1

    Next time I hope they step on your balls before you make your “special contribution” to the gene pool (if it’s not already too late).

    You pitiful, lobotimized poser.

  • millermp1

    Odd how that reasoning doesn’t apply to cops (i.e. “rare few” coloring the entirety).

    Agreed, though, that the bigger issue is the dysgenic trends in this country (Berkeley and Ferguson being exhibit A). I grew up mildly left of center, but my loathing for these pinkos is now lifelong and unbounded. Way to soil the nest you brain dead proto-simians…

  • Hanspiel

    I would maybe leave out the 9/11 part in the future. I get what you’re going for, and largely agree, but you’re lumping in a clear terrorist attack with a community protesting injustice. Regardless of the fact that us bombing other countries could be seen as sanctioned terrorism, it just puts a bad tone to the rest of your examples of double standards.

  • comeon2013

    Shhhh little one.

  • comeon2013

    And this is why protesting never gets anything done. It’s a waste of time and money (gotta pay for extra police officers) plus it damages the economy when local businesses are trashed. It’s better to find more constructive ways to protest.

  • Willliam Wallace

    “Reported” = Fact?….Only to the mush brains who question nothing which parallels their bigoted opinions!

    Imbecile.

  • somehow I suspect the spelling and the spirit of what they were saying was a bit different.

  • you sound angry, have a snickers bar.

    • Willliam Wallace

      S_O_G has not yet learned to insert a slickers anally. He still needs help.

      Would someone please assist him?

      • millermp1

        That’s very homophobic of you. Of to the re-education camp with you!

  • 1kenthomas

    Thanks. Hope you’re OK. Please flag OP.

    • Son of Guy makes a valid point. why would you try to censor him by flagging him

      • 1kenthomas

        What’s valid about his point?
        Anonymous OP trolls for upvotes and dominates discourse by posting extreme, often inaccurate, views. 78 of 84 votes are anon as well (poll stuffing?)
        A moderated forum would ban the account.
        Please flag OP and upvote serious comments in the stream.

        • ballot stuffing? troll? is it so unthinkable that people might upvote him because “gasp” he might be right?

      • Hanspiel

        He doesn’t make a point at all. He seems to be suggesting the only place people loot is Ferguson, and that all people interested in looting should go ahead and do it, but in Ferguson. The reality is, there is injustice and tension all over the country, and where there is protesting, there are those who will take advantage of it. Heck, LA has a much longer of protests and violence than Ferguson. I could be equally douchy as Son of Guy and suggest everyone who wants violence should move to LA. After all, they’ve got a lot of practice and could give pro-tips to the newbies like the troublemakers in Ferguson.

  • eyesjamesq

    Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbaya…..

  • ThatLibertarianGuy

    So we should just condone these violent actions done by these “select few”? Oh the irony.

  • Guest

    If the objective of the demonstrators is to bring about positive change, they failed. If it is to bring about awareness of the situation where police use excessive force, they failed. If a protest is handled properly, there won’t be smashing of windows and damage every time there is a march. Get a clue, you who organize these marches. And don’t use the excuse that it is a small percentage of the protesters who are causing the problems. The fact is that that small percentage of protesters are getting the headlines and undermining any message you intended to get across. I protest march at night down on the street will almost invariably lead to people using it as an excuse to do damage. You need to change your tactics.

    • 1kenthomas

      And exactly how much damage occurred? Less than at a football game?

  • CrowdAlbum

    Police go too far? See for yourself: HUNDREDS of photos from protestors in Berkeley last night? http://www.crowdalbum.com/album/5484a16c992cc60f7c005e52/Police-use-tear-gas-on-Berkeley-protesters_20141206

  • Mikyo Marie Martin

    Where can I find out when and if other protests are happening and how I can get more involved?

    • Joseph Watkins

      Just hang around Berkeley or Oakland. Also, follow the helecopters. Be safe, protect people around you.

    • comeon2013

      Get more involved by participating in email campaigns, calling your congressman, voting for the candidates that represent your point of view. But don’t unlawfully assemble, damage local businesses, harass the police, etc. Thank you.

      • Hanspiel

        Peaceful protest is not unlawful. In fact it’s a constitutionally protected right. The problem is the small number of people who take advantage of the anonymity of a crowd to be violent. As mentioned in the very first reply on this comment, the protest organizers are trying to determine the best way to prevent such individuals from casting the otherwise peaceful protests in a bad light. I would also use New York as an example of a police force that responded properly. I can’t help but notice the only times these protests seem to involve violence and looting is when cops come out in full riot gear. In New York there was no looting or violence, despite a huge number of separate protests, and the cops were only ever in standard uniforms. Is there cause and effect either way? No idea, but it’s interesting to me the way the data correllates.

        • comeon2013

          It is unlawful to assemble a large number of people in the street without a permit.

          • Hanspiel

            Granted, their is a lack of complete information in this article, but the phrase “protest organizers” led to the assumption that they had permits for the planned march. Also, they were amassed in front of a police station, which does not necessarily mean in the street. Again, there is a lack of information here, making it tough to know for sure. Regardless, the reaction of the police was heavy handed, especially in comparison to similar protests in New York, which blocked many streets, were spur of the moment and so certainly had no permits, yet never turned violent, and the cops never put on riot gear, shot tear gas, or felt the need to “force back” the protesters. Perhaps instead of resorting to riot gear and tear gas every time people disagree, police should start looking at New York’s recent actions as a guideline for properly handling protesters. Even Dallas handled it infinitely better than Berkeley.

  • usedtobeconservative

    I’m glad that some people were finally smart enough to realize that the nefarious BerkeleyPD/TraderJoes nexus is responsible for the abduction and murder of the 43 students in Mexico. This testifies to the intellectual rigor of the student body and overall curriculum at UCB. Well done, comrades!

  • Joseph Watkins

    I have them if you want them. Many on Facebook pages and Instagram. Stop following mainstream news, stuff is vile.

  • Joseph Watkins

    The police were violent and forceful, instilling fear and frenzy in the crowd. A relative few may have put up some artwork/graffiti. And a relative few broke windows, whereas many afterwards tried to clean the glass and stop looting. You paint the movement blindly and the whole event. You misconstrue reality, makes me wonder whether the author was even there.

    • millermp1

      Keep soiling the nest you imbeciles.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah all those drunk college girls looking for a place to sleep would make it difficult for a man like you huh?

  • TheEndGameIsNear

    Impeach, Convict, Arrest….

  • So Kali

    I guess DNAC could not be left out of the screaming white wing whining wacko pile on, and had to insert his One Cent worth!

  • Joseph Watkins

    This “son_of_guy” trolls every thread from his chair as a spectator and sensationalist. I just got out of jail for “failure to obey or disperse” and for supposedly “resisting arrest”. I just woke from sleeping on a cold concrete floor and from being processed like an animal in a factory. I was there when it started, I was there when they marched the streets of Shattuck and staged a die in and moment of silence for the indigenous people, for students, and for black people recently killed by police around the nation. I was there when the people shouted at the top of their lungs no more fear and marched straight to the doorstep of the police station to express their emotions and greivances together. The only time the mood or sentiment of the crowd changed was when people encountered riot cops and tear gas. The windows that were shattered were few, and you wouldn’t know that many people guarded the store from being looted and discouraged others from going inside trader joes. Why? Because you weren’t there, and you do not have an ounce of understanding regarding the reality of the world you live in or the sentiment of your community. You do not realize that those within these groups who smash or loot things are actually a select few. You don’t know the conversations and meetings happening around this whole city right now by organizers trying to address certain acts of looting or vandalism. You know nothing, so get off this thread. If people want truth, go outside and talk to the people, stop listening to media trolls like this and relying on news articles.

  • Curtis Jones

    OVERTIME! JOB SECURITY! CA CHING!

  • cnnjunkie

    Obviously, logic, reasoning and reading don’t figure highly on the list of requirements at this university……… …

    • millermp1

      The university is fine. It’s the proto-simian street dwellers nursing at the pinko teat that need to be gassed.

  • barb phillips

    Comes down to the http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1034/1034_01.asp
    Issue of the deep heart problem you have and I have and we We all Have .

  • barb phillips

    ….Comes down to the http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1034/1034_01.asp
    Issue of the heart problem you have and I have and we We all Have .

  • barb phillips

    Comes down to the http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1034/1034_01.asp
    Issue of the heart problem you have ..We all Have .

  • Garrett

    In addition to tear gas, nonlethal projectiles (rubber bullets and beanbag rounds) and flash bang grenades were used. Police had armored vehicles and aimed weapons directly at students. For some reason, I found this level of force at an anti-police brutality protest a little ironic, but maybe that’s just me.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t expect the bootlickers on this board to realize that.

  • Tim Mc

    The way the protest is being reported is extremely disappointing. With the exception of a few unfortunate cases of vandalism earlier in the evening, this didn’t escalate until police started firing on the crowd at around 10:20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6CI3rn8bIA& It is the police that escalated the situation to the mayhem it became, not the protesters.

    There are a few black-bloc anarchist types out there, but this was an overwhelmingly peaceful protest. It is the police, not the marchers, that make me afraid to be on the streets.

    • barb phillips

      …..Comes down to the http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1034/1034_01.asp
      Issue of the heart problem you have and I have and we We all Have .

    • comeon2013

      There were plenty of other things the protestors did that deserved a serious police response…such as unlawfully assembling. You need a permit to assemble that number of people in the street. And you can’t harass the police when they give you a lawful order to disperse. Lucky they didn’t arrest the whole lot of them because they would have been fully justified to do so.

      • Hanspiel

        Are you certain they had no permit? This was a planned and organized march. One would think it would be safe to assume the permits were in order. Besides, New York had a huge amount of “unlawful assembly” over the last week, and no riot gear was used, no tear gas fired. Why is it so difficult to believe that the police once again used more force than was necessary for the situation at hand?

  • Kevin

    How you prioritize things? Are you implying that unrelated violence and looting is “occasionally” ok to prove a point?

    Recent events caused a lot of harm and dismay, and recent events were completely unfair and unjust. I don’t believe what came of the events in Missouri and New York were ok at all…But that doesn’t justify bringing anyone else into the issue by breaking their private property. Be the bigger person. It’s your right to have your own voice and speak, not to throw a rock to maim or damage.

    And I don’t think anyone in ferguson, nor New York would think this whole issue is about cognitive dissonance. I think it’s about justice and racism.

    • Andrew

      Kevin, re-read my post: where do you see me saying that vandalism is okay? It’s not okay. But then again, neither is police brutality and systemic discrimination of minorities. What I’m saying is that the fact that a few clowns on University avenue tried to make the protest about themselves and earn ‘badass points’ by breaking windows shouldn’t become the subsequent focal point of reflection and conversation…

      Edit: Your last paragraph really makes me wonder if you even did more than a cursory glance of my post before replying to it..

      • DutchS

        “Obviously vandalism must be frowned upon BUT…” “But” = “disregard everything I just said, it was only lip service.”

      • millermp1

        “shouldn’t become the subsequent focal point of reflection and conversation.”

        It has, and it should. The cohort is a collection of the incompetent, the socially befuddled, the impotent and cretinous.

        I doubt I’m an outlier here: I used to tolerate these twinkle-toed turd blossoms. Now I want to see them exterminated.

    • So Kali

      Boston Tea Party, kevin?

  • Kevin

    What?? Less biased if there [were] more photos of protestors instead of just the police? There is ONE photo in this article and it’s of the protestors…

    What am I missing??

  • CheckYourIgnorance

    “It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.” -MLK, March on Washington

    • barb phillips

      Truth is it Comes down to the http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1034/1034_01.asp
      Issue of the heart problem you have and I have and we We all Have .

    • millermp1

      “tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard”

      That’s exactly how I felt about Kristalnacht! Presumably you’ll need to speak LOUDER to that guy who got the hammer to his head. You know, cause he might not hear the message as your looting the Starbucks.

      CheckYourAnusForDilationTears

      • CheckYourIgnorance

        Martin Luther King, Jr. had his critics as well. The federal government even wiretapped his phone and tracked his movements. Surely you’re too wrapped in yourself to hold meaningful dialogue. Also the ad hominem doesn’t really go too far in this instance. It may help to learn the differences between your and you’re? It’s easy to view things on a microscopic scale, but in observing these things macroscopically, there are extreme parallels between what we’re seeing today and what occurred from the 1940s to 60s. So, as my screen name suggests, CheckYourIgnorance. The quote still applies. “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

        • millermp1

          “parallels between what we’re seeing today and what occurred from the 1940s to 60s”

          You mean Pol Pot and re-education camps? Yeah, that a good point. Look at the revolutionary zeal of the pinkos crawling out of UC Berkeley. Their sense of righteousness is directly proportional to their sense of learned helplessness. If you ever wanted to see bigger crowd of raging losers, go down to shattuck now and get an eye-full.

          Because vandalizing stores and blocking traffic is the very best thing you can do to advance your “cause”.

          What’s stunning is the utter lack of political sensibility in these buffoons. If you thought the shuttering of The Guardian was the death knell of leftism in the Bay Area, that trend has only accelerated with this feckless stunt.

  • tcampbellla

    There is always a few dicks in the crowd! So much for “peaceful demonstration”.

    • Guch

      I bet the few dicks are CIA COINTELPRO operatives.

      • DNAC101

        Given the number guys in the crowd, i’m sure there were more than a few dicks there.

    • barb phillips

      ………Comes down to the http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1034/1034_01.asp
      Issue of the heart problem you have and I have and we We all Have .

  • Sengpile

    So easy to sit on your butt and judge from afar based on scant details heard thirdhand.

    • DNAC101

      It’s better than destroying property and businesses.

      • Garrett

        University Avenue was inappropriate, but late night on Telegraph was totally peaceful until gas came out. I take it you weren’t there.

        • That’s right. The minute the tear gas came out because the crowd would not disperse, it gave all the illegal protesters the green light to burn and loot.

        • comeon2013

          yes they were peacefully assembling in the street without a permit. they were peacefully ignoring a lawful order to disperse. they were peacefully harassing the police. should i go on?

          • Hanspiel

            As were many people in New York. Yet in New York, no riot gear was used, no tear gas was fired. People who broke the law were arrested when necessary. As a result of the calm and measured response, no business were damaged or looted, no officers were harmed, and the protests moved to legal areas.

      • Sengpile

        So is eating your own poo, but im not going to do that, either.

    • barb phillips

      Comes down to the http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1034/1034_01.asp
      Issue of the heart problem you have and I have and we We all Have ………….

    • So Kali

      The knees are jerking, Sengpile!

  • Shame on you for damaging our community. If you want that sort of crap, move to Furgeson.

    • Malia

      You need to read more if you think this statement is worth an once of critical consideration. You should be ashamed. Have you even studied the workings of “civil demonstration” LOL #joke #troll

      • Kevin

        #ounce

      • ThatLibertarianGuy

        Considering the upvotes he’s getting, i’d say that it’s getting plenty of “critical consideration.” LOL#joke#troll#idiot

        • Anonymous

          The got rid of the dislike button for people like you. Remember though, one must never go full retard.

          • ThatLibertarianGuy

            Says the guy who has rectangles for a username LOL

          • Anonymous

            They’re not rectangles, your phone just is that old to not translate symbols. Time for an upgrade on your phone and life perspective. Stay thirsty.

          • ThatLibertarianGuy

            I’m hungry actually.

    • barb phillips

      I live here in the Ferguson area we don’t want it either .Comes down to the http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1034/1034_01.asp
      Issue of the heart problem you have and I have and we We all Have ….

    • Joseph Watkins

      Can provide photos and videos of peaceful protestors. You can judged the sentiment of the crowd yourself rather than broadly paint people like this guy. Very few public destruction. Also, you have no idea how protests operate, nor marches, nor do you have the faintest idea of the public sentiment of those involved.

    • +1

  • Gradus Quia

    Nothing says social activism like a new flat screen TV.

    • barb phillips

      Comes down to the http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1034/1034_01.asp
      Issue of the heart problem you have and I have and we We all Have .

    • jimmyt

      Government for decades has hired rapists and murderers to terrorize citizens in order to steal from them.

      turn about is fair play

      • peepsqueek

        How is targeting taxpaying business of those communities “fair play”? How is targeting the employers of people in those communities “fair play”? How is torching cars of the people in those communities “fair play”? How is targeting police officers with hated “fair play”?

      • you sound like a thug.

      • comeon2013

        Wow, you’re a crazy one. Can you name one rapist or murderer who has been paid by the government to terrorize citizens and steal from them?

        • jimmyt

          LAPD cop killed himself friday for molesting his family members. theres plenty more examples if you take off your blinders

          • Bob Bell

            So you are saying the LAPD knew in advance that this individual was a molestor, hired him – not just hired him anyway but hired him specifically for that atribute – and encouraged him to terrorize others. That is the only set of facts that would validate your original accusation. I’d love to see your documentation for the LAPD’s advance knowledge.

      • Hanspiel

        Two wrongs don’t make a right, especially when the second wrong is misguided, misdirected and in no way effects the ones who committed the first wrong. Damaging your own neighborhood while those around you fight for justice dilutes the message, damages your own community and it’s cause, and does nothing to the police. The people looting during peaceful protests are cowards and thugs, masquerading as seekers of justice. If they had any courage, they would face the police, show they are better than the media paints them, and force change through effective means. If you must use force (and there really is no reason you should, but I digress) direct at those who have wronged the community, not at the already wounded community. Also, for those who are part of these communities who do have the courage, and are doing things the right way, don’t shelter those who would harm the very people they claim to represent. They are no better than the police they claim to fight.

    • peepsqueek

      I say, that if these Communities want to remain above the national average in street crimes and violence, then allow them to keep throwing rocks at the police.

    • Anonymous

      Of course that’s the only thing you see out if the issue at hand. Very sad.

    • That’s right. Nothing says social reform like a stolen bottle of Vodka and some lottery tickets

  • DNAC101

    I guess Berkeley degenerates could not be left out of the action.