Occupy Oakland Protest Turns Violent; Hundreds Arrested

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Police arrested around 200 Occupy Oakland protesters during a day of action Saturday that began with the protesters’ attempt to take over a vacant building to establish a community center there.

Police estimated that around 450 to 500 protesters marched from Frank Ogawa Plaza starting at around 1 p.m. and attempted to take over the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center near Lake Merritt.

Occupy organizers said they planned to reappropriate the vacant building as a new home for Occupy Oakland. Once they reached their destination, organizers had planned to kick off a two-day “Oakland Rise-up Festival” to celebrate the establishment of the movement’s new space.

PHOTOS: More Occupy Oakland Protests

Police said protesters began tearing down perimeter fences at the center around 2:30 p.m., and were ordered to disperse at 2:50 p.m.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Officers were allegedly pelted with bottles, metal pipe, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices and burning flares, according to police. Police said they used smoke bombs and tear gas, and protesters at the scene reported officers using batons on individuals in the crowd. As of around 5 p.m., 19 people had been arrested and three police officers had been injured. One of those officers suffered a laceration to the face and two received injuries to their hands.

By around 4 p.m., the bulk of the group had retreated to the plaza and regrouped. A second march set out from Frank Ogawa Plaza around 5:30 p.m.

Most of the day’s arrests were made outside of the YMCA at 2350 Broadway in Oakland after protesters allegedly attempted to force entry into the building, police said.

Police surrounded the protesters and stated that they had failed to comply with multiple orders to disperse, and therefore were under arrest. A protester broadcasting live video of the event said protesters were trying to escape through the YMCA after being surrounded by police. A police spokesman said there was property damage to the YMCA but did not have details.

A reporter for the San Francisco-based Mother Jones magazine, Gavin Aronsen, was among those arrested, according to the magazine. Aronsen said on his Twitter feed that he was released early Sunday morning.

Police also reported that protesters broke into Oakland City Hall and vandalized exhibits.

Protesters announced that they will continue the demonstration at 8 a.m. today, and plan to meet in Frank Ogawa Plaza to continue the activities already planned, including conferences and teach-ins.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed)

  • PLW

    Good job Oakland P.D. Now jail them, fine the arrestees for court , law enforcement, and damage costs incurred by their illegal activities……. If they are not held accountable, they will continue their illegal activities….

    • Vaccine Conspiracy

      I guess it pays to be rich, white and know the right people in this country, eh? Now, if the police hadn’t abused their positions of power, using excessive force on peaceful protesters in the beginning, the problem wouldn’t have escalated to the violent levels they now face. Who’s fault is that, that the dominant culture and people in power would rather hospitalize us and suffocate our voice than give us the freedom to denounce corporate corruption and social inequalities. Educate yourselves, ignorant fools. Learn the real history, not just what they feed you. These people are fighting for your rights, because you don’t have the balls to go out and do it yourselves. So stop your right-wing whining and do something about it. Republicans gave us the current deficit, built on 2 costly wars and tax cuts for the rich. Americans have had enough of all your rhetoric.

  • David Legnosky

    Very committed nut-cases! Why are they throwing things at the police? What are they still trying to influence? They say they need jobs, SO, GO GET ONE, like the rest of us sane people. WE DON”T EXPECT ANYONE TO GIVE US ANYTHING! Only the LAZY NUT-CASES EXPECT TO GET ANYTHING FOR FREE! Even then, it’s not free, it comes out of my taxes! I’m tired of all the Lazy BS! GET A JOB and leave us, and our hard earned taxes alone!

    • Bananaphone

      “SO, GO GET ONE”
      Yeah, easier said than done.. but hey it’s okay, I work 70 hours a week and for what? I still can’t make ends meet I’m still called lazy by you real nut cases. These people are actually trying to do something while you bury your head in the sand and pretend its okay.
      You sicken me. You are just a clueless fool, just like most of America.

    • Bananaphone

      I’ll also point out most of the wording in this has likely been changed in favour of the police. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10506630/Pictures/20_minutes_shift_blame.jpg It doesn’t take much to shift blame. Never believe everything you hear in the media.

  • Citizen

    I wish the occupy would just conduct peacefull marches and free up the Oakland police department to patrol the streets to solve unsolved murders of the children in Oakland. Instead this is taking up time by Oakland Police, there is more to America than Oakland!!!!!!!!!

    • John

      The marches are peaceful, but the police show up in riot gear ready to rumble. Not much you can do at that point but take your pepper spray and your beating.

      • Adrienne Nelson

        OMG you ignoramus.

      • Krissy Kate

        You have got to be kidding me. That was the dumbest comment ever made.

  • OaklandTaxpayer

    Ah, isn’t this great? Another day Oakland gets trashed in the media. Forget we’ve attractions like sports teams, a museum, a zoo, Chabot Space and Science, Jack London Square, and what happened to our downtown? Instead of bringing in visitors to help our tax base, our police have to deal with this, again? So where’s the mayor and council on this? Their absence surely was to promote the takeover of downtown? Was the mayor and council part of the protests too? So mayor and council, is this to be a regular Saturday nite highlight in Oakland? Oh, by the way, if there’s an emergency in Oakland, do we call the mayor or council or a protester to aide us? After all, our police are sort’a tied up, right? Mayor or council or protester, would you kindly leave your phone number as a comment so we can call if we homeowners/taxpayers/residents/shoppers in Oakland have an emergency? Thanks, isn’t Oakland great!

  • True home grown terrorists

    Those are not your typical protesters. They are criminals creating mayhem.

    • John

      No, they’re not.

      • No Dear John

        Thats a cop out. No pun intended. These turds have masks on and are burning flags they stole by breaking into City Hall a block from where I work? These are not heaven’s little angels Mister.

  • Philip Scharfy

    Murders. Suicides. Rapes. Overdose deaths. Heroin dealing. Creepy guys exposing themselves to small children. People defecating and urinating on police cars. Outbreaks of hepatitis and body lice. Arson. Assaulting the police

    Say, remember when the Tea Party did all this stuff?

    Me neither.

    Rarely have the lines in the culture war been as clearly demarcated as they are right now

    • John

      No, I just remember the Tea Party breaking doors and windows, spitting on politicians calling them sexual slurs, and threatening the president. And all you can bring up is body lice? Go to any high school and there is lice. What a joke.

      • Krissy Kate

        Occupy is a joke. And not even a funny one.

      • DownWithOccupy

        God, you’re stupid. He stated WAY more heinous acts than “lice”. Let me guess, you’re an Occupy supporter. Anti-police as well?

      • Philip Scharfy

        Poor John is an example of what hitting the bong too often will do to a fellow.

        What part of: “Murders. Suicides. Rapes. Overdose deaths. Heroin dealing. Creepy guys exposing themselves to small children. People defecating and urinating on police cars. Outbreaks of hepatitis and body lice. Arson. Assaulting the police” — didn’t you understand, John?

  • WHOA

    Get REAL you freak Occupy supporters. The MAJORITY of you are low life POS lazy free Loading useless dregs on society. Do you think the Officers want to do this? NO!!!!
    I have a friend who has had to assist officers. All of them hate this. Officers are people. If you think otherwise you are just as bad as any other racist.
    The Political corruption and Corporate greed is not dealt with by the .0005% low lives you see at these protests.
    A majority of sane citizens need to unite and have a real agenda to make the necessary changes. Right now you have criminals trying to influence society.

    • Adrienne Nelson


  • removeQuan

    Why is Quan allowing one group that her husband is a member of to keep violently attacking and causing millions of dollars in damages. What I really don’t understand is why these protester are not charged with hate crimes, it is clearly hate that motivates them, from overturning cars, to burning flags to throwing homemade flammable bombs. The city needs to step in and charge each and every one of these terrorist, then the courts need to hand out sentences that will deter further violence rather than a slap on the wrist that invites these anarchists back.

    join others that feel as I do, to take back our streets and cities from mob rule, The Mayor of SF got tough with the Occupy Movement, and they left, he got tough with critical mass on their Friday night rides and it stopped. read a joke, post in the forum or take a poll at

    If Quan can not stop them, then send in the National Guard, for we the middle class have rights too.

    www. stinkingpolitics.com

    • removeYourMother

      I hope you die from throat cancer.

    • Krissy Kate

      REMOVE QUAN INDEED!!! She is an idiot!!! I say LET the protestors burn the city down and see if she will continue to defend them. God, I can’t stand the occupy movement. It’s such a pointless cause. People are so desperate for attention. I HOPE the police are giving them a beating. Pepper spray it up.

      • Just curious

        Krissy: Made it short for me to understand why do you want to recall the Mayor.

  • David Duggan

    Well the self fulfilling prophesy of 21/12, 2012 continues as the world does a head long rush into anarchy and totalitarianism. Push and shove, tug and pull. Adversity breeds opportunity. Those who are prepared to take advantage of the situation are reaping the benefits.

  • Tom101010

    Burning the flags…..really…?! You LIVE in this country morons. GO HOME AND DO SOMETHING USEFUL AND PRODUCTIVE WITH YOUR LIVES

  • Sonia

    Members of this movement don’t know history , they just bunch of marijuana smokers and people who don’t want to work . It is all economy rules, if you want to stop all this banks corruption, stop using them!

  • http://jmwaters.com/2012/01/alert-holy-hell-has-broken-out-in-oakland/ ALERT: HOLY HELL HAS BROKEN OUT IN OAKLAND | | J.M. WatersJ.M. Waters

    […] Occupy Oakland Turns Violent; Hundreds Arrested – Watch The Occupy action was publicized by the group as a planned takeover of a vacant building that would […]

  • PLW

    If those Dim-Wit Demonstrators are not held accountable for their illegal actions and damages, they will continue their illegal activities!!!!!! They don’t care about the costs of damages, loss of employment within the city, law enforcement and legal costs because tax payers have to pick up the tab!!!!!!
    These worthless dim-wit demonstrators only want to damage and destroy!!!!

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/01/30/occupy-oakland-rekindles-debate-about-flag-burning/ Occupy Oakland Rekindles Debate About Flag-Burning « CBS San Francisco

    […] images of the flag-burning went viral in the hours after Saturday’s demonstrations on Oakland’s streets, with Occupy supporters denouncing the act as unpatriotic and a black mark on the movement. Others […]

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/10/12/oakland-police-officers-to-be-disciplined-for-occupy-protest-incidents/ Oakland Police Officers To Be Disciplined For Occupy Protest Incidents « CBS San Francisco

    […] Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall on Oct. 25, the aftermath of a general strike on Nov. 2 and “Move In Day” on Jan. 28, when protesters tried to take over a vacant building in downtown Oakland. var videoCanvas = new […]

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