|Crowd at a vigil for Nia Wilson (inset)|
It was a crazy Monday evening in Oakland. I have waited to gather all the facts before reporting on it tonight.
A march was held Monday in memory of 18-year-old Nia Wilson, who was knifed to death Sunday evening by a crazed white transient, 27-year old John Lee Cowell who was arrested by police at roughly the time of the march.
Crazed is the best identifier, he had many arrests including for felony robbery and had restraining orders taken out against him from two different parties, in short, a serious nutjob, but white was what the crowd focused on.
Apparently, a rumor passed through the crowd that
the extreme right-wing group Proud Boys were meeting at a restaurant, Make Westing, just a few blocks away from where they were. It is still not clear that such a meeting was ongoing.
But the more aggressive parts of the crowd marched toward Make Westing. At about this time. I was supposed to meet a friend at a restaurant in the same general area, Camber Uptown, about a half block away from Make Westing.
But when I got to about a block away from the restaurant, I was close to the crowd and they looked seriously tense. I would have had to basically pass through the crowd and it didn't look like a sound thing to do. Indeed, I did not think it even made sense to take the time to use my cellphone to snap a picture of the crowd.
I circled back going a block out of the way and still a black kid on a bike came right at me and I had to step into a store entrance not to get hit.
I called the person I was to meet and suggested that we change plans and head in the other direction to Jack London Square which is right on the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay between Oakland and San Francisco. We had a beautiful dinner some 10 blocks from the madness.
Video has surfaced of the crowd beating up a white guy who the crowd believed was a Proud Boy.
The clip below shows him being beaten up in the passageway that I would have taken if I would have chosen to go from my location to Camber's.
An alleged member of the white supremacist group The Proud Boys got caught slippin’ during the rally in Oakland yesterday #townbusiness #ogun pic.twitter.com/nZL9L57fSH— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) July 24, 2018
Now, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that six Oakland police officers were injured when explosive devices were thrown at the officers during a march. Read that again. explosive devices were thrown from the crowd.
I had heard loud booms up ahead when I was there and thought it was just police shooting some kind of flashbangs at the crowd to disperse it, but according to SFC, authorities said at least two M80- or M1000-type devices were thrown at officers who sustained non-threatening injuries.
Things are getting tense my friends and the crowds are learning how to escalate.