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Activists Vow to Keep Control of Closed Oakland Elementary School

Activists who have taken over a closed Oakland elementary school claim they were injured when district security attempted to physically remove them from the campus.

The demonstrators held a news briefing Friday to discuss the incident and vow to keep control of the shuttered Parker Elementary School.

At least three people claim they were injured when Oakland Unified School District security guards tried to keep protesters from reentering the campus on Thursday.

Video taken at the school showed members of the public trying to push their way into a building. Some of the shouting in the video indicated that someone was on the ground as protesters demanded security officers to let the person go.

“I was thrown against a tile wall,” said Rebecca Ruiz with the Anti Police Terror Project.

Ruiz claims she suffered a concussion during the confrontation.

Activists, including Ruiz, have been resisting the district’s plan to close Parker Elementary and more than a dozen other schools over the next two years.

Thursday’s incident began when district officials showed up to change the locks after learning protesters had left the grounds.

“Someone picked, cut, or otherwise broke through a lock to get back inside the building,” Oakland Unified School District spokesman John Sasaki said in a written statement Thursday. “They were removed. Now we are doing what we can to keep several others from entering the building.”

But by late Thursday a large group of protesters had already retaken the school, who plan to hold the building and keep Parker Elementary open as a public school despite the district’s plan to close it.

“This is an attack on Black and brown children in this community, who simply have the audacity of demanding to learn,” Ruiz said.

Activists are also calling for an investigation into Thursday’s actions by the district.

NBC Bay Area reached out to the Oakland Unified School District for comment on this story, but did not hear back on Friday.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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