Black Lives Matter protestors are taking societal issues into their own hands as they demand #FreedomNow.
Calling on the city of Oakland, California, to “fund Black futures” as opposed to adding to their death toll, two dozen protestors blockaded the Oakland Police Officers Association union hall Thursday morning.
With several U-locking their necks to the doors of the office building, the group was successful in shutting down the OPOA headquarters while officers stood nearby to supervise.
“I’ve been on the sidelines for too long as a White person,” said 28-year-old Oakland resident Sarah Raridon. “I have been really inspired by what Black Lives Matter is doing, but so far I’ve been paralyzed by guilt and fear. Today, I’m taking action.”
The demonstration at OPOA’s building was an effort to have Mayor Libby Schaaf recalled and have city funds diverted from the police department. Alternatively, the group is demanding that Oakland invest more into their housing, schools, job training, and community centers.
This year, the city council budgeted $242 million for the Oakland Police Department, approximately 20 percent of the city’s total available funds. Comparatively, Oakland’s libraries received $30 million and the city invested $17 million in economic and workforce development.
It is being reported the Oakland Police Department extended an olive branch to protestors in the form of a barbecue. To which Karissa Lewis, a Black Lives Matter protestor, responded: “Barbecue’s aren’t going to stop the brutality that Black folks are facing. A barbecue is definitely not going to stop this blockade. And as a radical-Black farmer from East Oakland — I eat pigs, I don’t eat with them.”