Live Stream: OCCUPY OAKLAND 300 Arrested, Damage – UPDATED: Third Stream Added For 3 SIMULTANEOUS STREAMS
Jan 28, 2012 51 Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Police arrest about 300 Occupy Oakland protesters
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Oakland police said they arrested about 300 people Saturday as protesters spent a portion of the day trying to get into a vacant convention center, and later broke into City Hall and tried to occupy a YMCA.
Police spokesman Jeff Thomason said most of the arrests came around 8 p.m. local time, when police took many protesters into custody as they marched through the city’s downtown, with some entering a YMCA building.
At about the same time police were taking people into custody near the YMCA, about 100 police officers surrounded City Hall, while others swept the inside of the building looking for protesters who had broken into the building, then ran out of the building with American flags before officers arrived.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan during a news briefing late Saturday said protesters had forced their way into City Hall, where they burned flags, broke into an electrical box and damaged several art structures, including a recycled art exhibit created by children .
The nighttime arrests came after 19 people were taken into custody in Occupy Oakland protests hours earlier.
Police used tear gas and “flash” grenades on the group Saturday afternoon after some demonstrators threw rocks and other objects at them. Police said three officers were hurt, but they released no details.
Police said the group assembled at a downtown plaza Saturday morning, with demonstrators threatening to take over the vacant Henry Kaiser Convention Center. The group then marched through the streets, disrupting traffic.
The crowd grew as the day wore on, with afternoon estimates ranging from about 1,000 to 2,000 people.
The protesters walked to the vacant convention center, where some started tearing down perimeter fencing and “destroying construction equipment” shortly before 3 p.m., police said.
Police said they issued a dispersal order and used smoke and tear gas after some protesters pelted them with bottles, rocks, burning flares and other objects.
Most of the arrests were made when protesters ignored orders to leave and assaulted officers, police said. By 4 p.m., the bulk of the crowd had left the convention center and headed back downtown.
The demonstration comes after Occupy protesters said earlier this week that they planned to move into a vacant building and turn it into a social center and political hub. They also threatened to try to shut down the port, occupy the airport and take over City Hall.
In a statement Friday, Oakland City Administrator Deanna Santana said the city would not be “bullied by threats of violence or illegal activity.”
Interim police Chief Howard Jordan also warned that officers would arrest those carrying out illegal actions.
Oakland officials said Friday that since the Occupy Oakland encampment was first established in late October, police have arrested about 300 people.
The national Occupy Wall Street movement, which denounces corporate excess and economic inequality, began in New York City in the fall but has been largely dormant lately.
Oakland, New York and Los Angeles were among the cities with the largest and most vocal Occupy protests early on. The demonstrations ebbed after those cities used force to move out hundreds of demonstrators who had set up tent cities.
In Oakland, the police department received heavy criticism for using force to break up earlier protests. Among the critics was Mayor Jean Quan, who said she wasn’t briefed on the department’s plans. Earlier this month, a court-appointed monitor submitted a report to a federal judge that included “serious concerns” about the department’s handling of the Occupy protests.
CONTRA COSTA TIMES: — Police have fired tear gas and flash bang grenades at Occupy Oakland protesters as they marched near the Oakland Museum of California.
As marchers walked up Oak Street near 12th Street, a line of police blocked the path and declared it an unlawful assembly. Police then fired tear gas and some protesters tweeted rubber bullets were fired into the crowd.
The marchers turned around and began marching in the opposite direction, and are headed back to Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Occupy protesters had planned to take over a vacant building to house their headquarters and hold a two-day party. In the days leading up to Saturday’s protest, Oakland police stepped up a public relations effort to prepare for the weekly marches.
Around noon, about 250 protesters gathered at Frank Ogawa Plaza for a rally, according to a city of Oakland press release. At 1:30 p.m., the group began marching with a crowd of about 450 protesters. Forty-five minutes later, some of the marchers entered the campus of Laney College, city officials said.
That was when police first fired tear gas.
At 2:30 p.m., marchers began tearing down perimeter fences around the vacant Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, city officials said. Police declared an unlawful assembly and fired more tear gas. The area on Oak Street between 10th and 12th streets has been declared an unlawful assembly area and the city directed the media to vacate.
Oakland police are advising
motorists and residents of street closures around Oak Street at 10th and 12th streets, Fallon Street at 10th Street, and Second Avenue at 10th and 12th streets.
“The City of Oakland welcomes peaceful forms of assembly and freedom of speech, but acts of violence, property destruction and overnight lodging will not be tolerated,” the press release stated. “The Oakland Police Department is also committed to facilitating peaceful forms of expression while protecting personal safety and property through ethical and constitutional policing.”