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Occupy Oakland Plans Day Of Action Next Monday

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Occupy Oakland demonstrators at the start of a march in Oakland, Saturday, January 28, 2012.

Occupy Oakland demonstrators at the start of a march in Oakland, Saturday, January 28, 2012.

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Occupy Oakland activists will conduct a day of action next Monday to protest the response by Oakland police to a demonstration on Saturday that resulted in nearly 400 arrests, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Maria Lewis of Occupy Oakland said the day of action was approved at a general assembly Sunday night.

Oakland police said the arrests occurred after protesters attempted to occupy the Henry J. Kaiser Center, which has been closed for several years, clashed with officers at the YMCA at 2350 Broadway and vandalized City Hall.

Lewis said police fired beanbags, rubber bullets, flashbang grenades and tear gas against protesters.

She said that indicates to her that, “Protecting abandoned private property is more important to them than is human life.”

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Police allege that protesters pelted officers with bottles, metal pipes, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices and burning flares. Three officers were injured, police said.

Lewis didn’t deny that protesters were aggressive, saying, “People are very angry at the police and the larger economic and political system.”

She said the protesters’ actions show that “people will defend themselves against the police.”

Lewis said many of the people who were arrested are still being processed at the Alameda County Jail in Dublin.

“I’m shocked at how bureaucratic the process is,” she said.

Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson said the reason it’s taking so long to book and release protesters is that such a large number of people were arrested. He said the processing was expected to be completed by the end of Monday.

Nelson said most protesters will be cited for failing to disperse but about 58 people will be kept in custody and brought to court on Tuesday on more serious charges, such as assault, burglary and resisting arrest.

A spokeswoman for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office said no one has been formally charged yet because prosecutors are still waiting to receive a police report on the protest.

Lewis said Occupy groups across the U.S. as well as in several cities in Canada and Australia held marches on Sunday to demonstrate their solidarity with Occupy Oakland protesters.

In a statement on the Occupy Oakland website, activists said, “Across the country, we will demonstrate our resolve to overcome repression and to continue to build a better world grounded in love and solidarity for one another.”

Lewis said the day of action next Monday will include a rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall and a march to the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, where protesters are scheduled to appear in court.

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

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