Huge Protest In San Francisco's Dolores Park, Dance Party In Oakland Past Curfew

KCBS Radio Overnight News
June 03, 2020 - 5:58 pm
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We're following several protests around the Bay Area on Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco, San Mateo, Oakland, Berkeley, Palo Alto, San Jose and Hayward. Stay with our live blog for the latest.

Updated June 4, 2:00 a.m.

San Francisco

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Mission Local reporter Julian Mark and about a dozen demonstrators were arrested just before midnight for "unlawful assembly," after they were asked to lay on their stomachs in the Mission District.

Earlier in the day, a crowd in and around Dolores Park was a huge one, estimated at over 10,000 people.

The protest went mobile at about 5 p.m., the crowd working its way through the Castro, the Mission and South of Market neighborhoods. There were some protesters who got onto the Highway 101 freeway entrance at 7th St., but no major disruption was reported. 

KCBS Radio's Megan Goldsby followed the crowd into downtown San Francisco. Many people went home as the city's curfew went into effect at 8 p.m.

There was a group at the Hall of Justice and a large protest outside of City Hall, both of which have largely broken up. There aren't many police officers in the area. The few that are there look to be blocking the freeway entrance.

"Those protests by and large remain peaceful," San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott told KCBS Radio. "We did have a few instances of objects dropped, bottles and the like thrown at our officers and at least once instance of vandalism. But we were able to isolate those as separate instances."

KCBS Radio's Dan Mitchinson spoke with Chief Scott late Wednesday.

"Our officers, we are doing everything we can to keep situations deescalated, to understand what people are feeling and what they are expressing and not taking anything about this personally," Chief Scott said. "Part of that underlying issue here, what people are protesting about, there are a lot of people in our country that have a lot of anger and a lot of hurt, just based on the things in policing history in our country that have happened."

Chief Scott also addressed the intense challenge of keeping his emotions in check during a very emotional time here and around the country.

"I've never been angry about (the protests)," Chief Scott said. "I do get angry when both officers do wrong and, on the other side, when people do wrong and hurt our officers. We are out here to help the public."

The Dolores Park rally was started by a high schooler. That’s why the focal point was Mission High School. Speeches on a loudspeaker came from the facility, but were harder to hear further back in the crowd. Organizers never dreamed it would be this big.

Many recent high school graduates were on hand.

"I feel like it’s super important for me to be here," one protester said. "Me being a person of color and a black person, especially, I need to stand up for what my ancestors couldn’t. Even if they did, right now, it should not be an issue as it is now. It’s just really heartbreaking that people aren’t realizing how big of an issue this is."

A protester holds a sign in San Francisco's Dolores Park during a Black Lives Matter protest.
Megan Goldsby/KCBS Radio

Anyone seeing the size of this crowd might get a better idea.

Thousands and thousands of people in the streets towards the Castro. Thousands more are in the streets of the Mission.

Another recent high school graduate in attendance hoped this is the change she so desperately wants to see in the world.

"I would really, really hope so," another protester told KCBS Radio’s Megan Goldsby. "I would like to think we are. I mean it’s a bigger deal for us, more than anyone, because this is what we’re growing up in and this is what we plan to make a future in."

A large crowd gathers in San Francisco's Dolores Park for a Black Lives Matter protest.
Megan Goldsby/KCBS Radio

Several San Francisco Police officers were spotted taking a knee in front of the Mission substation, bringing with a big roar of support from the crowd.

Several curfews are in effect Wednesday night around the Bay Area. Both San Francisco and San Jose have announced their citywide curfews would end early Thursday.

Vallejo
Vallejo's police chief is offering details about a fatal officer-involved shooting of a 22-year-old man amid looting in the city early Tuesday. S.W.A.T. officers believed the man may have been reaching for a weapon, but it turned out to be a 15-inch hammer. The District Attorney's office and Vallejo Police are investigating the case.

There has been widespread looting in and around Vallejo the last several nights, leading to concerns this incident will further inflame tensions.

Protesters eventually gathered in front of City Hall, but dispersed just before 8:00 p.m.

Oakland
A large crowd is protesting near 14th and Broadway. Many officers are in the area.

A line of officers in downtown Oakland on Wednesday night.
Mallory Somera/KCBS Radio

The Jackson St. off-ramp from I-880, the Jackson St. on-ramp to I-980 and the Broadway on-ramp to I-880 northbound are all blocked by California Highway Patrol in an effort to prevent protesters from getting onto the freeway. There's no estimate as to when the exits will reopen.

BART closed its station at Oakland City Center due to a "civil disturbance," but has since reopened it.

Over a thousand people gathered at Frank Ogawa Plaza at 8:05 p.m. as an organized defiance against Alameda's curfew, where they stayed throughout the night. Organizers delivered impassioned speeches, chanted and linked arms, with police officers, Alameda County Sheriffs and the National Guard on standby blocks away. The event ended on a high note, with protesters dancing in the street. It died down by about 11:30 p.m. 

The night's events were live streamed on the Anti Police-Terror Project's Facebook page. No arrests were reported.

Earlier Wednesday, Oakland Police met with reporters to discuss the department's crowd control policy and the recent civil unrest over George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.

Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa Police said that about three small groups gathered to protest at Old Court House Square. They instructed them to leave as curfew hit, but eight demonstrators refused and were arrested. They were all adults and Sonoma County residents.

San Mateo 

Protestors marched from City Hall to the Police Department in San Mateo on Wednesday with about 2000 people in attendance. The event was peaceful and no arrests were made.