Protesters and Police Injured in Clash at Occupy Oakland Demonstration
Police in riot gear fired tear gas at Occupy Oakland protesters who attempted to occupy a downtown office building. Three protesters were injured and required hospitalization while several officers received minor injuries. (Lee Romney, LA Times)
Though 60 people were arrested in the confrontation early Thursday morning in the Oakland protests that had drawn thousands of participants earlier, the office building was then cleared and workers boarded up other damaged structures at the Civic Center.
But it was a peaceful day of protest that attracted more than 7,000 people in a General Strike urging union members, other workers and students to stay home and join the protests. And they did .Among those present were teachers, youths, seniors, union members and other citizens who said they were concerned about economic inequality. (Romney, LA Times)
And the evening circled down into a peaceful close when protesters cheered their victory at the Port of Oakland 9 p.m. Wednesday, after learning that authorities confirmed the cancellation of a shift of port workers scheduled for 7 p.m. The Port of Oakland is the 5th busiest port in the world and protesters had succeeded in their mission there.
Officials said maritime area operations would resume "when it is safe and secure to do so". Police estimated that a crowd of about 3,000 gathered at the Port of Oakland by early evening. (Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian)
Ben Bruso, 23, a direct service provider for developmentally disabled individuals, and one of hundreds who blocked the Port’s Gate One was there because he "wants to get rid of Lobbying in government." (CBS News)
“Our government is being bought by corporations,” said Bruso, a Service Employees International Union member, who came to the march of his own accord. (CBS News)
The problem was much later in the evening near 12:00 a.m. when according to new reports, demonstrators massed again at the City Hall plaza and in a symbolic gesture, gained entry to an empty building that had housed the Travelers Aid Society, a nonprofit organization that assists the homeless but had suffered funding cuts.
On Twitter feeds, the building was branded a new "community center," and leaflets claimed the building for "reuse." Video from a local ABC "affiliate's helicopter showed jubilant crowds flowing in and out of the building, where a banner marked 'Occupy Everything' hung." (LA Times)Continued on the next page