In the Wake of Violence, Small Oakland Businesses Stay Positive

Cortt Dunlap, the owner and manager of downtown Oakland’s Awaken Cafe, said he happened to stay late last Saturday to check out the local bands playing the venue. That night, hours after George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict was announced in Florida, Dunlap watched as protesters gathered outside and said he occasionally cheered them on. At one point, he turned to a worried customer and reassured him by saying the protest was just “typical Oakland.” Two second later, at 11 p.m., a masked man hit the cafe’s front window with “a blunt object,” shattering about half the glass and “terrifying everyone,” according to Dunlap. But, despite glass hitting a few patrons, no one was hurt and the band played on.

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