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off our presses

Johannes Mehserle

Thoughts and prayers to the people of Oakland.

Tonight is the first night in a long time that I remembered to be grateful I live in a suburb. Working in downtown SF, I let my staff go home as soon as we heard the Mehserle verdict, the rest of the building seemed to follow. At 6 is was unusually empty and quiet. There was concern about rioting and violence. In SF, things were calm. Twitter feeds at 7 began with news of calm gatherings, at 9, the news on Twitter and KCBS was of bottles and police in riot gear. At 9.30, winding our way home on Hwy. 24, we saw a ribbon of flashing blue and red lights, we stopped counting at 12, but think we saw 50, maybe 60, police reinforcements, complete with vans, trucks, red firefighter trucks and white paramedic vans. A bizarre, unnerving spectacle on the nighttime freeway.

My heart goes out to the residents of Oakland. A riot and violence like this is tragic - so much loss. In the news, as we arrived home, the stories began to come in of protesters hurt, a young woman's injury to the eye, stones, bottles, tear gas.

Join me to express solidarity with the residents of Oakland, hope for their safety, and soonest return to peace.