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Looting and riots mar race protests in California

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A protester flees as police officers try to disperse a crowd comprised largely of student demonstrators during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, California early December 7

A protester flees as police officers try to disperse a crowd comprised largely of student demonstrators during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, California early December 7

A protester flees as police officers try to disperse a crowd comprised largely of student demonstrators during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, California early December 7

Demonstrations hit the streets of California for a second night as protesters angered by police killings in Missouri and New York clashed with officers, vandalised businesses and even fought with each other.

The demonstrations were the latest of several in the area around San Francisco - including in Oakland where activism is strong - to protest against recent grand jury decisions in Missouri and New York not to indict white police officers in the deaths of two black men.

Protest began peacefully on the University of California, Berkeley, campus but eventually grew rowdy and spilled into Oakland. Activists made their way on to a major road and blocked traffic.

The California Highway Patrol said officers fired tear gas after protesters targeted them with rocks and bottles and tried to set a patrol vehicle on fire. Police also said explosives were thrown at officers, but there was no information immediately available on how potent they were.

As hundreds of protesters began marching through central Berkeley, the unrest that marked protests on Saturday night was touched off again as someone smashed the window of a Radio Shack.

VANDALISM

When a protester tried to stop growing vandalism, he was hit with a hammer, officer Jennifer Coats said.

Police said groups of protesters began roaming through the city centre area, throwing rubbish bins into streets and setting rubbish on fire, smashing windows on buildings, and damaging and looting businesses. There were also reports of vandalism at City Hall.

Television footage showed protesters smashing windows and breaking into buildings and setting rubbish ablaze.

Ms Coats said police made five arrests in connection with the demonstrations. She said two officers sustained minor injuries on Sunday night.

She said there was "significant damage" to several Berkeley businesses and that many had windows smashed and several shops were looted.

She said the demonstrations had concluded by about 3.30am.

Meanwhile, seven people were arrested in Seattle on Saturday night after protesters threw rocks at police and attempted to block a highway.

hnews@herald.ie


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