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Police and demonstrators clash as US protests continue for a second night

President Barack Obama urged the country’s youth to be patient in the fight against racism.
Dec 8th 2014, 2:46 PM 6,247 16

Angry protesters in California – some vandalizing, looting and clashing with police – gathered for a second night Monday to condemn recent killings of black suspects by white officers.

Hundreds of protesters gathered late Sunday and continued marching into early Monday in the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, according to police in the western US state.

Some smashed store windows and looted shops and a fire was set in a residential street in Berkeley. The marchers also blocked a major highway as they moved to the neighboring city of Oakland amid a heavy police presence.

Lobbed bottles

Berkeley police said some of the approximately 600 protesters lobbed bottles and overturned trash cans, which they also set ablaze.

Berkeley police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats said there had been five arrests and that two officers had been injured.

Police also reported that at least one person was assaulted while trying to stop a demonstrator from looting a shop.

But many protesters marched peacefully, some carrying signs reading “Jail killer cops” and “Police brutality and murder must stop” as they marched through the streets and staged so-called die-ins by lying on the ground.

Demonstrations had also turned violent the night before in Berkeley, where police used tear gas after clashing with crowds who threw projectiles, looted shops and vandalized cars. Officials said several officers were injured.

Obama urges persistence 

Meanwhile, hundreds gathered in New York for a fifth night of demonstrations, clogging downtown stores and a central transport terminal.

President Barack Obama urged the country’s youth to be patient in the fight against racism, and said reversing the problem will take time.

“This isn’t going to be solved overnight, this is something that is deeply rooted in our society, it’s deeply rooted in our history,” he said in an interview with Black Entertainment Television to be aired Monday night.

“We have to be persistent, because typically progress is in steps, it’s in increments.”

Demonstrations have erupted across the United States over the past two weeks, sparked by a grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri after he shot dead an unarmed black teenager in August. The officer said he was acting in self-defence after being assaulted.

© AFP 2014

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