Election Chronicles: while votes are counted, protests continue
During the spring-summer protests, Oakland was one of the Bay Area “hotspots” where some looting and civil unrest occurred. As the nation keeps hanging in uncertainty over the election results, we asked local residents and small business owners what they expect now.
One of the windows at MudLab has been smashed during the spring-summer protests held in the area. However, this time the coffee shop co-owner Jillian Holloway is rather optimistic.
“I think just building ties in the community, getting to know the neighbors that live here, getting to know the people that will be here to support you if something does happen was really important for us.”
After the MudLab window was smashed, they had people showing up in the middle of the night with brooms, all day the next day people stopping by and offering to help, Holloway said.
“I hope nothing bad will happen, and people will keep the peace,” another local resident added.
During this election week, hundreds of people gathered for demonstrations and rallies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
“I saw a gathering with about 30 people on Tuesday at Oscar Grant Plaza (officially known as Frank H. Ogawa Plaza). The protest didn’t seem to be directly related to the election and the protesters were against either candidate. They were discussing ways to completely overhaul the US Government to give more power to the people instead of corporations, rich people and politicians. Some protesters were wearing helmets and volunteer medics were among them. The police were far back and I estimated about 30 officers,” said Andrey Elenskiy, Oakland resident.
Unlike in New York, the protests in the San Francisco Bay Area remain peaceful at this point. According to Elenskiy, on Tuesday the protesters held an open mic and ended the rally “once they decided that enough was said.”
“I’m planning to take part in protests to demand that every single vote is counted and to condemn the actions of the current president, who is trying to undermine our democracy. I believe that it’s a duty of every person to speak out if they don’t agree or don’t like something in order to protect our way of life and not be taken advantage of,” Elenskiy added.
In anticipation of upcoming demonstrations, most of the Oakland businesses have their windows and doors covered with plywood. We will continue following the situation, please check back for updates.