Anti-police demonstrators march in downtown Berkeley

F the police march

Demonstrators calling themselves Anonymous Queers in Action march against the Berkeley Police on Tuesday March 12. Photo: Ted Friedman

A group around 75-strong at its peak gathered Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to demonstrate against the Berkeley Police, claiming they were responsible for the “murder” of Xavier Moore, who identified as Kayla Moore, the 41-year-old mentally ill transgender person who died Feb. 12 while in Berkeley Police custody.

According to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, the march was peaceful and there were no reported problems or arrests.

The group, who called themselves Anonymous Queers in Action, began their demonstration at around 6:30 p.m. in People’s Park, then marched down Telegraph Avenue, through downtown Berkeley streets, and ended about two hours later, depleted to about 25 people, outside Amoeba record store on Telegraph, according to Ted Friedman who took the photographs shown here.

Honor the dead

A banner laid out in People’s Park at around 6:20 p.m. before the march began on Tuesday March 12. Photo: Ted Friedman

Some of the chants included “We’re here. We’re queer. F*** the police,” “F*** the pigs,” and “Oink oink bang bang.”

In a release published in Indy Bay about the demonstration, the organizers wrote: “This is a call for an uncompromisingly militant march against the racist and transphobic Berkeley Police who murdered Kayla Moore. It is also a call for queer people, trans people, women, and people of color to form a bloc against police murders and harassment at the March Against Capitalism and Police Repression taking place at Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland on Friday, March 15th at 8pm.”

March ends

The march ended with a couple of dozen people outside Amoeba’s record store on Telegraph Avenue at around 8:30 p.m. Photo: Ted Friedman

Heather Wood reported on Berkeleyside’s Facebook page that a friend saw “BPD … streaming out of a darkened police department in riot gear” at around 8 p.m. “Anyone know what’s going on?” she asked. “It was alarming to my friend going to/from Trader Joe’s. She called me to ask if I knew anything.”

Coats said police were just taking precautions. “It was a little march. We wanted to make sure there was no damage or vandalism, but we haven’t had any problems. They came down and marched, and they went back up,” she said.

Berkeleyside’s senior reporter Emilie Raguso contributed reporting to this story.

Correction: This story originally said the quote we excerpted that was published Indy Bay was by Berkeley CopWatch. This was not the case. It was by Anonymous Queers in Action.

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  • The_Sharkey

    Hipster activists in search of a cause.

    Working within the system to create lasting change is too hard, so let’s just wander around in the streets and shout some cuss words at the cops whenever we can find a convenient excuse.

  • guest

    “….racist and transphobic Berkeley Police…”

    Please name him, her, or them.

  • EarlyMorningCoffee

    IndyBay is the worst internet publication in existence. Anything affiliated with IndyBay looses all credibility with me instantly. They’re like fox news, only more dishonest and less tolerable of dissidence. Stalinist losers.

  • anonymous

    >has never heard of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mario Savio, or any of a number of activists.

    Some of us work within the system, some without.

    I find it hilarious how the police streamed out of the station in riot gear for what was apparently a tiny march. Wonder how much that cost.

  • guest

    Yes, please do. We need to identify and shame cops who act outside the law by discriminating against certain people.

  • The_Sharkey

    Comparing the gimmie-gimmie malcontents of Occupy Oakland to Ghandi, MLK, or Savio?

    My, my. Don’t we think highly of ourselves.

  • The_Sharkey

    I think you missed the point.

    Said BPD officer doesn’t exist.
    Copwatch is spewing hot air and slander. Like usual.

  • Biker 94703

    Less than the economic costs of a downtown full of broken windows. Any protest is at risk of being hijacked by rioters and worse, then becoming a habit. Recall the Telegraph riots of the late 90s?

  • The_Sharkey

    Did you read the comments on the article? The last one is excellent and explains what’s wrong with what IndyBay is doing in a nutshell. I suspect it will get deleted, so here’s the text of the comment by “Berkeley Resident”:

    This is not a case of
    hatred, negligence or insensitivity. But articles such as this one
    sling precisely these emotions without knowing the facts. Kayla Moore
    was no more “killed by the police” than someone trapped in a burning
    building is “killed by the fire department.” In fact, if you go back
    and check the dispatch records, the police took active steps to save
    this person’s life.
    Articles like this that jump to conclusions
    that are based solely on opinions masquerade as legitimate arguments.
    They insight fear and hatred of the police by a person or persons on a
    personal vendetta. They encourage a lack of trust in an organization
    who was asked to respond to an already bad situation and just happened
    to be present for a worse outcome. And people who read this article
    with have less trust in the police which will likely lead to negative
    encounters and worse outcomes in the future for those individuals.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves. Ashamed that you irresponsibly
    blamed a department, in this case, for the tragic death of someone after
    that department did everything in their power (and check the facts
    before you disagree with me here) to help them, and ashamed that you
    sling the very same insensitivity that you claim to fight.

  • guest

    Thanks for clarifying, The_Sharkey. I guess I was too subtle.

  • Tizzielish

    Like anonymous, I find it hilarious that our keystone berkeley cops deployed excessive response to a dinky protest. Some folks here seem to have implicit trust for all things related to the police. Did anyone else remember a man died in Berkeley cause our cops were deployed for a demonstration that was still in Oakland? Our keystone berkeley cops over deploy, getting out riot gear for a peaceful, small demonstration and then these comments blindly support the cops, even tho poor deployment of resources last year costj a man’s life. Some of these comments seem to be from deaf dumb and blindly faithful lovers of a police state. I know I veer into hyperbole but some of these comments are so disrespectful of what was an uneventful, peaceful exercise of free speech. Geez, can only the cops be right to you people?

  • Tizzielish

    if you think Occupy Oakland was nothing but gimmie-gimmie malcontents, I feel sorry for you because you must have a pea brain and a stone heart. Occupy Oakland was about justice for all and calling for an end to siphoning wealth off the top for a tiny elite. It was not gimmie gimmie malcontents and your ugly, unkind rhetoric is ugly and unkind.

  • Tizzielish

    did anyone else remember that our berkeley keystone cops deployed resources for a demonstration last year that was still in Oakland, more than an hour from entering Berkeley and a man died cause no cops were deployed to respond to regular cop business while our keystone cop police chief marshalled riot gear squads for a peaceful demonstration an hour off in . Oakland?

    It is hilarious that the police streams out in riot gear for a tiny demonstration. It is not hilarious that so many comments seem to blindly support police state authority and seem to have forgotten that imprudent over deployment of cop resources can cost lives like it did last year up in the hills.

  • Mfox327

    I find it extremely disconcerting that you and anonymous find a police response to a protest to be “hilarious.” All it takes is one idiot to break a window to turn a “peaceful protest” into riot.

  • guest

    So one broken window = riot?
    Riot gear with no riot is wasteful and silly. Having been to many peaceful protests, I can also say that it is not even standard procedure.

  • anonymous

    The worldwide #occupywallstreet movement is about so much more than gimme. It’s actually more about giving… maybe you could spend a little time checking out the facts & sources before forming your opinions. Just a suggestion.

    And as the protestors worldwide state, even to police: Join us! You too are part of the 99%.

    We want to make a system that works for all of us. Stop relying on the old ways: they don’t work. It’s time to move forward into the new millenium.

  • guest

    “…so many comments seem to blindly support police state authority and seem
    to have forgotten that imprudent over deployment of cop resources can
    cost lives like it did last year up in the hills.”

    Are expressions of support “blind” because you think otherwise? Would you not need to know WHY someone supports the police before you could characterize it?

    And speaking of “blindly” reacting, your completely erroneous recitation of what happened “last year up in the hills” is a shining example of “blind condemnation.”

  • Mfox327

    Correct, one broken window is not acceptable, by any means. I’m sure every civilized person and business owner in Berkeley would agree.

  • guest

    I’m pretty sure that most of them are intelligent enough to realize that a riot is much more than one broken window.
    Actually, many of them have probably experienced riots and know what they are. The mob mentality that takes over does much more damage than one window.

  • 4Eenie

    So let me see if I understand you. Are you saying that police should be deployed for a riot only after it starts? That they should not use past experience and crowd behavior knoweldge to determine that a riot may break out? Is there ANYTHING that police do that you agree with or support?

  • guest

    I like it when they solve actual crimes and help lost kids find their mums.
    I like it when they chase down murderers.

  • The_Sharkey

    Have you seen the rhetoric used by Occupy Oakland and Copwatch?
    Have you seen the destruction and rioting from past Occupy Oakland marches?

    There’s no way to know how big or disruptive one of their marches will be until it’s already underway.

  • The_Sharkey

    Worldwide, maybe. But that doesn’t really hold true for Occupy Oakland.

    I know quite a few people who participate in OO actions and have been to a couple of their events. For the most part, they’re 20-something hipsters who are bored and want to take part in the roving party that most OO marches turn into. Most OO marches are just pedestrian-oriented versions of Critical Mass with a lot of empty rhetoric.

    I’m all for ending corporate personhood and curbing corporate influence in politics, but Occupy lost any chance at widespread public support when it got taken over by shrieking radical left activists who turned it into a mouthpiece for their anti-Police agenda.

  • The_Sharkey

    As I predicted, IndyBay deleted that comment.
    Wouldn’t want facts and nuance to ruin a perfectly good cop-bashing, after all.

  • anonymous

    i share your disappointment with OO! Not because of “hipsters”, who lets face it, are people like anyone else, more because of violent elements… and divisiveness.
    But I’m not sure what the connection is with this article…

    Also, as someone who attended the first strike, i have to say, what a sadly squandered opportunity :(

    I guess maybe more folks like you and I need to make our voices heard…?

  • BTownModerate

    Just a bunch of disgusting telegraph avenue bums making a scene, nothing new.

  • 4Eenie

    Keystone cops? Hilarious? Come on, Tizzielish, you’re better than this.

  • The police did not want to admit why they were barricading the station at 6pm when I walked by from the grocery store. It’s ironic that this lack of ability to communicate (or admit why folks are unhappy with them) is part of their problem — they need to learn to “use their words” (not their guns) to deal with an individual who is basically just having a really bad day & freaking out. They are armed from head to toe with multiple weapons, in bullet proof vests, have tons of back up, and yet are always “threatened” and “afraid” or say they were “concerned for the public.” I’m concerned about people needlessly shot or tased to death, not to mention where those stray bullets go. More talking, less shooting. And – that demonstration was less disruptive and noisy than the average high school sports event.

  • Are all of your comments snarky? You seem to add very little other than bile to these discussions, I’ve noted.

  • The_Sharkey

    …they need to learn to “use their words” (not their guns) to deal with an
    individual who is basically just having a really bad day & freaking

    Get your facts straight. No guns were fired in the Xavier/Kayla Moore incident.

  • The_Sharky

    All of them? No. Quite a few of them? Yes. There’s a reason I chose a screen name that rhymed with snarky.

    Though I have to say I’m surprised that someone who suggested that commenters he didn’t like ought to be castrated would complain about snarkiness. Oh well.

  • guest

    “The police did not want to admit why they were barricading the station at 6pm when I walked by from the grocery store.”

    Just to be clear, is your complaint that you noticed the police getting into a defensive posture and they declined to explain why when you asked them why they were doing what they were doing?

    If this is what your complaint, please explain why you would be privy to the information you requested. Why wouldn’t it be exceeding dumb for the police to reveal that information to you?

  • August Bondi

    Facts? Where did you get those? I haven’t heard any details from the BPD.

  • August Bondi

    None of these comments so far have put this police custody death in the context of dozens of others (and these are just the ones that made the news) in recent years. Something is obviously wrong with the way police respond to people in crisis. Xavier Moore was unarmed and there were many police in the area. Why can’t the cops let people just exhaust their rage while maintaining a perimeter so that this rage does not hurt others? We don’t really know if racism or transphobia played a role, do we? Lot’s of apparently straight, white men (usually homeless) have died in police custody. But no doubt racism is alive and well in the BPD – just ask a local teenager, white OR black about who gets pulled over, questioned while hanging out, etc. in B-town.

  • Guest

    “F*** the pigs” does not sound like “Join us!” to me. I appreciate your point as it may relate to certain aspects of other movements, but I don’t see it as relevant in the context of this article or protest. Similarly, it seems unlikely that either Gandhi or MLK Jr. would have described their work as “uncompromisingly militant.”

  • The_Sharkey

    Since you are claiming that there have been “dozens” of deaths in police custody “in recent years,” as part of an attack on BPD, can you please provide a list of at least 24 deaths of individuals in BPD custody within the last 8 years?

  • guest

    If, as you state, you “haven’t heard any details from the BPD,” then what earthly basis could you have to support your claim or assumption that there was gunfire in the Moore situation?

  • Che Joubert

    The occupy movement was disrupted by out of control Oakland cops, which was documented by journalists, and is the subject of a lawsuit now, or was very recently – don’t know the outcome.

    Having said that – I’m suspicious and negative about unfounded demonstrations like the one against the Berekely cops for the death of Xavier Moore. It wasn’t clear at all that there was any true brutality, and it seems likely this is a case where some people want to create trouble for the left by hyping up and carrying on needless protests. Of course both things happen – real misbehavior/poor judgemnt on the part of the police at times, and on the other hand, false protests to make an intelligent tendency to question the police look silly.

  • dsd510

    I can definitely (unfortunately) say from personal experience as well as observation that there are certainly racist and transphobic members of BPD.