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 sfgate.com 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?
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