OAKLAND -- The City Council will take up a proposal at its July 30th meeting that would make it a misdemeanor to carry makeshift weapons, such as hammers, to protests.

The proposal, based on similar laws in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, is supposed to help police arrest violent agitators before protests get violent.

Council members stopped pursing a nearly identical proposal last year after Occupy Oakland supporters opposed it during a rowdy council committee meeting that was cut short when Occupiers threatened to harm a resident speaking in favor of the proposal.

At the time, council members feared the proposed law was galvanizing the Occupy movement that had been showing signs of petering out.

However, violent protests returned to Oakland this past week after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager walking home from a grocery store.

On Monday, a vandal struck a restaurant worker in the face with a hammer as the worker tried to protect the restaurant.



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