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Richmond man urging calm assaulted in Oakland protests

on December 10, 2014

WARNING: Video contains explicit language. 

A Richmond man taking part in Oakland protests against police uses of deadly force late Tuesday was beaten by masked men who took issue with his attempts to put out a dumpster fire in the street.

Zach Wear, who lives in Richmond and is a member of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, is seen in videos posted to YouTube and LiveLink and and shared originally on urging protesters to remain peaceful and demonstrate without resorting to vandalism. “This harms movements,” he said of the dumpster fire. “…Every time we do this they can stop our marches.”

A second video shows Wear attempting to put out the dumpster fire as a woman tells him to go home and men wearing bandanas as masks yelling, “Do you want to be a police?” As he continued to put out the fire, he was surrounded by the masked men, who punched him in the face repeatedly.

With blood trickling down his chin, Wear later pointed to his mouth and said, “I did nothing violent, and they just knocked the two teeth out of my face, the protesters here. And all I did was passively try to stop them.”

Wear later posted on his Facebook page: “Hey guys– I’m okay, back at home now. My two front teeth are broken, but one is cracked through and still hanging on so maybe in the morning the dentist can make it stick around for another 60 years.”

The scene in Oakland stands in contrast to a peaceful protest against police violence held in Richmond on Tuesday, which drew the participation of Richmond Police Department Chief Chris Magnus, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and several other city leaders.

What do you think about the videos and the ongoing protests? Do you agree that protests are most effective when they remain non-violent?


  1. Eleanor Piez on December 11, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Uprisings like this one tend to bring out narcissists and infiltrators who either intend to derail and discredit it, or do not care if the protest is “effective.” I would like to know who set the fire and why? Maybe harming the movement was exactly what they intended?

  2. Peaceful Protests! on December 13, 2014 at 11:25 am

    An unmasked woman is shown in the video of Zack Wear’s beating. She is inciting assault, inciting arson, and aiding and abetting known felons. A clear photo of her has been posted.

    If you know who this woman is, please help identify her so she can be questioned by police and so that our community can know who she is. We must not tolerate people who violently attack and maim peaceful demonstrators. Please copy and paste this post and share it with your community policing representatives, with your neighborhood BBS, and on Facebook.

  3. Name on December 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    If they nuked the cities of Berkeley, Richmond and Oakland, it would only be an improvement.

  4. deirdre on December 18, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Wear is one brave man.

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