Protests, rallies held in Bay Area ahead of MLK Day

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Monday, January 19, 2015
Black Lives Matter protest held at Emeryville's Bay Street mall ahead of MLK Day

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Protests and rallies were held across the Bay Area Sunday ahead of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

Protesters marched through the street at Emeryville's Bay Street mall. The rally was held in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaign to call attention to accusations of police brutality and the killings of unarmed black men.

PHOTOS: SF, Oakland protests over MLK holiday weekend

In Oakland, protesters demonstrated outside the Walmart store on Edgewater Drive. Members of the group Workers Against the System are upset about what they say are low wages at Walmart.

They also protested the shooting death of a black man by a police officer in an Ohio Walmart in August.

VIDEO: BART ridership down Friday due to protest

And in San Francisco, demonstrators laid out blankets and sleeping bags at the Powell Street BART station where they plan to spend the night.

Organizers told ABC7 News they're using King's vision of ending poverty to bring attention to the needs of homeless people.

"We're demonstrating a right to rest for people who have no place to sleep. And we have a situation right now in San Francisco, across the state, where people are too poor to afford a place to live, are forced to sleep outside, are ticketed for being poor. Those tickets go to warrant because they can't pay them. They are cut out of public benefits. They are jailed simply for being too poor," Jennifer Friedenbach said.

The group will camp out until 5 a.m. Monday then join a larger Day of Action protest in Oakland.

It will start at the Fruitvale BART station and then move to Frank H. Ogawa Plaza.

For full coverage on the protests against police brutality, click here.