Nia Sykes Out of Oakland
You madam, are an idiot. Protest anywhere you like, but please riot in your own little room.
Protesters smashed the storefronts of McDonald's as well as stores called Creative African Braids and Oakland Yoon's Pharmacy. Cars along 14th Street were smashed, and some were set ablaze.(sfgate.com)
A woman walked out of Creative African Braids holding a baby in her arms.
"This is our business," she shouted. "This is our shop. This is what you call a protest?"
Nia Sykes, 24, of San Francisco, a protester who was with the group, said, "I feel like the night is going great. I feel like Oakland should make some noise. This is how we need to fight back.
Sykes had little sympathy for the owner of Creative African Braids.
"She should be glad she just lost her business and not her life," Sykes said.
Added 1/9/2008: SF Chronicle has published Nia Sykes' response to the article, which has since been syndicated worldwide.
"I do not advocate violence"(sfgate.com)
Editor - Regarding "Protests over BART shooting turn violent" (Jan. 8): I was dismayed to see that I was quoted grossly out of context. I spoke to the reporter for several minutes and they used only portions from the interview to make it seem as if I was condoning violence, which is not at all the case.
I was a part of the peaceful rally that began at 3 p.m. at the Fruitvale BART Station, where Oscar Grant was murdered. I said that the peaceful protest was "great"- not the destruction of property! Some of us continued to downtown Oakland, but I was not a part of the faction of protesters that became violent. I do not advocate violence at all, from police or the protesters, nor did I have any part of it. In fact, when I saw people vandalizing property, I moved to another block, where I was interviewed by the reporter.
I only became aware of the woman whose shop was damaged after the reporter informed me of it. I am sorry that her shop as well as other individuals' and businesses were vandalized.
I am saddened too, that The Chronicle chose to make this article solely about race. The protests were about the execution-style shooting of an unarmed man by the BART police. The protesters who came were of all races: black, white, Asian and Latino.