OAKLAND -- Police made at least 10 arrests Friday afternoon as a band of more than 50 demonstrators protesting library cuts gathered downtown at 12th and Broadway and began blocking the street.
The demonstration opposed Oakland library cuts and other austerity measures and began around 4 p.m. It was uneventful at first, but when the protesters moved to the street, blocking traffic, and refused police orders to disperse, at least 10 were arrested on suspicion of offenses ranging from failure to disperse to battery on a police officer.
The group returned to the sidewalk and went west on 12th to Clay street to the Federal Building, then moved down 14th Street to City Hall, followed by at least 20 police officers on bicycles, in cars and on foot.
The demonstrators, identified by a flyer as affiliated with Bay of Rage, www.bayofrage.com, chanted slogans protesting library closures, dismantling of public schools and corporate tax cuts. Bay of Rage identifies itself an anti-capitalist initiative based in the Bay Area.
According to the website, the group deplores high police salaries while libraries are closing. Chants at the demonstration, defined on the website as Anticut2, included, "Cut cops, not libraries."
Some of the signs carried by protesters include references to books including The Unseen, by Nanni Balestrini, and
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, which explores Algerian
"Some people are here because they really love the library," one protester said. There was a show of hands as to which protesters used the Oakland library and more than half of the protesters raised their hands.