‘Occupy Oakland’ Protesters Return To Frank Ogawa Plaza
OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The fences came down at Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza Wednesday evening during a general assembly meeting among “Occupy Oakland” protesters.
At least 500 protesters gathered at the plaza to reclaim the site of their encampment, which was raided by police early Tuesday morning.
The entire plaza was not barricaded Wednesday evening as it had been Tuesday night, but the grass area of the plaza was blocked by a chain-link fence.
Many of the protesters jeered when a small group tried to take the fences down earlier Wednesday evening.
“I see this as a trap,” said a speaker at the meeting, pointing to the fence surrounding the grass area of the plaza. “They’re hoping we walk right into this trap.”
At 7 p.m., around 50 to 100 protesters succeed in tearing down sections of the fence on the opposite side of the plaza from where the meeting is taking place.
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The group entered the grassy area, which city officials earlier on Wednesday said was in the process of being cleaned using chemicals.
On Tuesday night, police blocked the entire plaza including surrounding streets and kept the protesters from entering using tear gas, rubber bullets and smoke grenades.
Compared to Tuesday night’s demonstration, the police presence Wednesday evening is much less prevalent and the gathering has been peaceful.
On Wednesday evening, protesters sat in a circle in the amphitheater in front of City Hall to hold their general assembly meeting, as they did every night when the Oakland encampment occupied the plaza.
Protesters at the meeting announced that “Occupy Wall Street”—the protest that inspired “Occupy Oakland”—donated $20,000 to the Oakland demonstration.
Demonstrators at the general assembly meeting addressed the critical injury of Scott Olsen, a former Marine who served two tours in Iraq, which occurred during Tuesday night’s demonstration.
Iraq Veterans Against the War, a group Olsen worked with, said Olsen was injured when he was struck by a police projectile and suffered a fractured skill.
In the southeast corner of the plaza Wednesday night, candles surrounded a picture of Olsen after he had been injured.
“The police did nothing,” a speaker at the meeting said. “The police did not have an ambulance at hand.”
Abele Carpenter, a Friends of Olsen’s, said earlier on Wednesday that protesters transported him to the hospital.
Protesters at Wednesday’s general assembly meeting also addressed how to move forward given the recent events.
“The whole world is watching Oakland,” said the speaker who opened the discussion.
The group called for a citywide strike on Nov. 2, where workers and students would leave their positions to join a march in downtown Oakland.
The announcement drew cheers from the gathered crowd.
Protesters also announced that the first planning meeting for the strike would be held Thursday at 5 p.m., prior to the general assembly at 6 p.m.
Speakers Wednesday evening urged protesters to keep the commitment to nonviolence.
“The 99 percent should have a monopoly on peace,” one speaker said.
By 9:30 p.m., few police could be seen in the area and at least one tent was pitched in Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Following the demonstration, hundreds of “Occupy Oakland” protesters were on the move.
The crowd walked south on Broadway after a confrontation occurred with police at the 12th Street BART station where some protesters were reportedly unable to enter the station.
The large group left the Oakland demonstration to join the “Occupy SF” rally which may be facing eviction from police in San Francisco Wednesday night.
At least one protester was detained at the BART station.
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