Oakland activists upset over law banning weapons at protests
The Oakland City Council moved closer on Tuesday to banning hammers, wrenches, shields, sling shots, paint projectiles and other “tools of violence and vandalism” at protests, raising concerns by the American Civil Liberties Union and local activists.
“I appreciate that the City Council wants to make demonstrations safe,” ACLU attorney Michael Risher told KGO-TV. “But they should look at both sides of the equation and realize that there are more protesters who are injured by the police during protests than there are officers who are injured by protesters.”
The council voted 5-0 in support of a law that will make it a misdemeanor to bring destructive items to demonstrations, the Oakland Tribune reported.
The decision comes after Councilman Noel Gallo reintroduced the bill after a vandal hit a restaurant employee in the face with a hammer during a George Zimmerman protest earlier this month.
“These individuals come whenever they want to to trash my city,” Mr.Gallo told KGO-TV. “They laugh about it, then they leave and they want to sue me. It’s not gonna work that way.”
The proposal was amended to make clear that tripods, cameras and pencils were not on the banned weapons list, The Oakland Tribune reported.
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