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 custody of BPD.
According to Berkeley Police spokesperson 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.
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.”
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.”
Officer 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.