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Photo Courtesy of hdnux

By Amber Jasmine, Staff Writer

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA- Joining the Eric Garner protests, which also took place in Manhattan-New York, and Newark-New Jersey, is Berkeley, California. According to video journalist Tawanda Kanhema, there was an estimate of roughly 1,500 protesters and 100 law enforcement officials on the protest that took place Saturday December 6th, just south of the UC Berkeley campus. The protest lasted more than five hours and ended early Sunday morning.

Police tried to calm down the protest, however, it turned and grew violent. Several businesses were looted and damaged, protesters threw rocks, bricks, bottles, and other objects at police, damaging several squad cars. One officer received hospital treatment after being hit with a sandbag, dislocating his shoulder, while another officer sustained minor injuries. As the crowds grew more violent, police had no choice but to take offensive action.

“They fired rubber bullets and some smoke grenades.” Kanhema said.

The march, which was organized by Occupy Oakland and other groups, started off around 5 pm at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza. It was supposed to go off peacefully, but things took a turn for the worst when a group of black masked protesters joined in, looking for trouble. Police ended up using smoke bombs and tear gas to try to disperse the crowds. The tear gas also hit people who happened to be in the area for concerts. Five adults and one juvenile were arrested, but the cause of the arrest was not immediately known.

“Look at all the love your father is getting.” Said Garner’s wife Esaw to their son as she saw demonstrators from her apartment window.

“I was so proud of that crowd” Said Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother. “It just warmed my heart.”