Amid skyrocketing crime in California, especially retail theft, store owners in Oakland went on strike on Tuesday to protest the city’s refusal to deal with the crime crisis.
— Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez (@FitzTheReporter) September 26, 2023
According to local ABC affiliate KGO-7, business owners in Oakland staged a two-hour strike from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday with the goal of sending “a larger message to City Hall.”
“They want better protection and support so they can safely operate their businesses and make a living,” the outlet added.
Today around 200 businesses in Oakland, California closed in solidarity declaring a "business strike" over the crime and lawlessness that is currently plaguing Oakland.
Many of the closed businesses spoke and held a press conference outside of Le Chevel restaurant, which has… pic.twitter.com/AFlswHK3pK
— Thomas Hawk (@thomashawk) September 26, 2023
Many participating store owners joined together outside of the Le Cheval restaurant to hold a press conference about their concerns. Le Cheval is scheduled to close at the end of September due to the high crime in the area and slow sales in the post-COVID era.
Was just at the One-day Business Strike press conference in front of Le Cheval restaurant where community leaders and business owners are coming together to call on the city of Oakland to do more for public safety and retail crime. They’re saying “enough is enough.” pic.twitter.com/XBNOoHXXzR
— Magaly Muñoz (@_MagalyMunoz_) September 26, 2023
The business owners noted during the press conference that, just like Le Cheval, they have been losing customers and foot traffic over the area’s rise in break-ins, carjackings, robberies and violent altercations. They requested that the city and state government take action to fight rising crime, calling for increased funding for the police department and an increase in the number of officers.
Thus far, newly elected “progressive” mayor Sheng Thao (D) has not responded to the business owners’ requests.
Stores across Oakland have also begun posting signs on their doors informing customers that they have gone “cashless” in response to crime — as they fear being robbed.
The problem doesn’t just affect small businesses, as Target also announced on Tuesday that skyrocketing crime and retail theft has caused the company to close nine stores in four states — three of which are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, including one in Oakland.
“We cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance,” Target said in a press release.
Target CEO Brian Cornell foreshadowed this decision last month, explaining in a statement that the company had been dealing with an “unacceptable amount” of retail theft — noting that the problem had become increasingly dangerous for employees.