We are now on Broadway approaching Oakland Police Headquarters when riot police charge the crowd dispersing them through the streets of downtown.
There is dispersal and reconvergence. Groups of friends storm across Broadway, from Chinatown into an area of commercial downtown Oakland. The police are setting up lines now, there is some yelling. A rumor finally passes around that we are all gathering back up at 14th and Broadway.
We reconvene at 14th and Broadway, the main intersection of downtown Oakland. Trash cans are lit on fire and knocked into the streets. There is festivity. Young people and communists take turns on the bullhorn berating the line of riot police. Some people lay down in front of the police symbolically, the same way we all watched Oscar Grant executed. The media takes pictures.
The police are charging now, but they don’t sprint. After we burn all the trash cans, young folks on skateboards begin smashing windows on 14th. The police come and they stop, hesitant. We are unyielding: glass bottles are thrown, a car is set on fire and flames reach high into the Oakland sky—our very own skyscraper. We roll dumpsters into the cop line. We see groups of friends gallop like horses over parked cars, dancing and stomping on hoods and windows.