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Protesters mobilising in Berkeley, California@katewarren via Twitter

Eric Garner protests in Berkeley, California turn violent

Police fire teargas on demonstrators as some protesters steal champagne from Whole Foods

Protests have spread far and wide across the US as public outrage at the non-indictments of Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo – the police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner respectively – rolls into its second week. This weekend, the campaign reached Berkeley, California to devastating effect.

What began on Saturday as a peaceful protest on the University of California campus erupted into chaos as the march reached downtown. Fires lit up the streets, buildings were damaged and shops looted. Police clashed with the public, firing teargas on demonstrators.

The picture below tells a familiar story of America's recent history: riot police lined up in formation to tackle mobilised groups of protesters.

The first incident of looting happened when two men broke the windows of a Radio Shack and tried to make off with electronic goods. Fellow protesters attempted to prevent the theft, throwing the goods back into the store. One man was said to have been injured with a hammer during the fracas.

The chain store Whole Foods was hit by protesters, despite police being called in to protect it. There were reports of people drinking from bottles of "liberated champagne".

Some were unimpressed by the decision to break into Whole Foods, pouring scorn on the idea that this behaviour offered any contribution to the movement:

Other protesters defended the vandalism, claiming that the vandalism and looting were targeted at big corporations such as Whole Foods and Radio Shack. Mom-and-pop businesses were apparently left untouched. Six people were later arrested. 

It isn't just Berkeley where people are making their anger felt. The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the subsequent lack of punishment handed out to the cops responsible have engaged and enraged America. Starting in Ferguson, movements corralled by hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter, #ICantBreathe and #HandsUpDontShoot have spread quickly to Seattle, New York and Chicago with force.

In a BET interview scheduled to air today, Barack Obama said that race issues in the justice system and police force highlighted by the protests were "not going to be solved overnight". He also urged young people not to give up the struggle for equal rights. 

"We have to be persistent, because typically progress is in steps," Obama said. "It's in increments. When you're dealing with something as deeply rooted as racism or bias in any society, you've got to have vigilance, but you have to recognise that it is going to take some time and you just have to be steady, so that you don't give up when we don't get all the way there."

Hopefully this time, it's getting harder for the authorities to ignore the call for change.