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Activist Group to Hold Rally Following Verdict

OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) Members of an activist group said on Thursday that they will hold a rally near Oakland City Hall the day the verdict is reached in the trial of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle.

The New Year's Movement for Justice for Oscar Grant plans on gathering at 6 p.m. at 14th Street and Broadway the day of the verdict, no matter what time it comes in.

They are urging police not to interfere with their rights to assemble peacefully.


"We don't want to see property damage. We don't want to tear down our Oakland," said Tony Coleman, who is part of the group.  " We love our city and we love our kids. But our main concern is about getting justice for Oscar Grant. And we don't want to mix that in with the property damage and everything like that. We want to stay focused on the officers who keep getting away with murder."

Coleman and his group said that city officials seem more worried about preventing broken windows and bonfires then about protecting the young people of Oakland.[pullquote quote="We don't want to see property damage. We don't want to tear down our Oakland." credit="Tony Coleman w/ the Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant"]

He is urging police not to overreact even if emotions run high after the verdict, as long as demostrators stay nonviolent.

Police said they are ready and are on patrol, including a lot of overtime and vacations canceled for the force.

Coleman said that anything less than a second-degree murder conviction would be unjust.

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