OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Hundreds of protesters marched on the Port of Oakland Wednesday evening as part of a series of organized protests Wednesday.  

Occupy Oakland‘s call for a ‘General Strike’ drew thousands of activists to the city’s downtown Wednesday. The protests were largely peaceful throughout the day, but as evening approached some incidents of vandalism and violence among a group of anarchists were reported.

Earlier in the day, a group broke off from a main rally near the city hall plaza to picket at nearby banks during a day where activists called for a general strike.

All three banks located within blocks of the plaza were closed Wednesday, though that didn’t stop protesters from chanting and waving signs outside.  Some graffiti and other vandalism was seen but no major incidents were reported.

At a Citibank branch, more than a dozen protesters blocked the entrance, some with fake $100 bills taped across their faces.

Broken windows at the Wells Fargo on 12th and Broadway in Oakland. (KCBS)

About 200 people chanted outside a Wells Fargo Bank branch at 12th and Broadway, which did not open Wednesday because of its proximity to the Occupy demonstrators downtown. Hours after the original gathering, protesters broke out some of the bank’s windows.

The branch had graffiti scrawled on its wall. The messages read, “The 1 percent won’t back down” and “Who’s robbing who?”

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Holly Rockwood said the company was open to discussing issues with Occupy Oakland leaders in the community.

A group of protesters heading toward Oakland’s Lake Merritt Wednesday vandalized a Whole Foods store at 230 Bay Place, off of Grand Avenue.

Windows were smashed, objects were tossed at the store and the word “strike” was painted in large letters across the store’s front windows shortly before 3 p.m..

Protesters block the entrance to a Chase Bank branch in downtown Oakland while one person writes graffiti on the door, November 2, 2011. (CBS)

Rumors had circulated on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere that  Whole Foods employees risked termination if they participated in Wednesday’s general strike, but Whole Foods Oakland posted a statement on its Facebook page denying the rumors.

Police have kept a relatively low profile, as Occupy Oakland protesters began a number of marches and rallies Wednesday morning as part of the planned general strike.

Organizers had called on city residents and shop owners to skip work and shut down businesses along with the Port of Oakland in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement Wednesday – as part of a city-wide general strike.

KCBS Team Coverage Of Occupy Oakland General Strike:

Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said Wednesday afternoon that the general strike organized by Occupy Oakland has been peaceful so far, and that there have not been any arrests.

Jordan estimated that about 1,000 people were participating in rallies Wednesday in downtown Oakland, in the area of 14th Street and Broadway.

He said there is a small group of people he thinks is looking to have a confrontation with police. But he said police will try to avoid such confrontations so that they can “prevent a hostile crowd reaction.”

Mayor Jean Quan said Wednesday afternoon, “I want to thank the citizens of Oakland and the demonstrators for keeping it peaceful and orderly.”

Jordan said it was estimated that some 5,000 people will march on the port later Wednesday and that police will facilitate the march to help the group get to their destination safely.

Protestors hold signs as they demonstrate during Occupy Oakland's general strike on November 2, 2011. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Some Occupy Oakland protesters have vowed to shut down the port Wednesday night, but Kos-Read declined to say what action would be taken to prevent that.

“We’ll deal with that situation if it comes up,” he said.

In an open letter to the community of Oakland issued on Tuesday, port officials stressed that workers at the port are also part of the 99 percent, and that the port is interested in contributing to the civic dialogue initiated by the Occupy Oakland movement.

Photo Gallery: Wednesday’s ‘General Strike’ Protests

Earlier, parents and their kids are formed a”children’s brigade” as part of the march in downtown Oakland. About three dozen adults with toddlers and school-age children gathered Wednesday around noon in front of the Oakland Public Library for a stroller march that was to join the main protest.

Troy Flint, spokesman for the Oakland Unified School District, said Tuesday that 268 teachers requested leave in order to participate in Wednesday’s march and rallies.

The Oakland Education Association endorsed the Occupy Oakland general strike and urged members to attend the protest and hold teach-ins on the history of general strikes, OEA president Betty Olson-Jones said.

Another large group which included Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin marched Wednesday morning along San Pablo Ave. to meet up with Oakland’s gathering.

Chief Jordan said the department would ask for mutual aid from other law enforcement agencies if it becomes necessary, and that Oakland police “are prepared to protect people and property if the need arises.”

Occupy protesters started blocking traffic at 14th and Broadway, the heart of Oakland’s downtown, shortly before 9 a.m., and there was at least one confrontation between a motorist and a demonstrator.

An estimated 200 demonstrators marched to the University of California president Mark Yudof’s office in downtown Oakland Wednesday, but university police prevented them from entering the building.

Protesters instead chanted outside, saying rising tuition at California’s public universities was hurting students and that the Board of Regents is comprised of wealthy individuals who don’t represent their interests.

AC Transit had to redirect a number of its buses because of the number of protesters participating in Wednesday’s general strike downtown.

Organizers of the group No Justice No BART canceled planned actions at the 12th Street and 19th Street stations over concerns that they might prevent people from using BART to participate Occupy Oakland events.

Photo Gallery: Bay Area Occupy Movement

Oakland became a national focal point of the Occupy Movement after police raided an encampment on the plaza and later clashed with demonstrators last week.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS SF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (34)
  1. PLW says:

    The calm before the storm…. Don’t worry, the working taxpayers will pick up the tab!

    1. WhatAbout says:

      Working tax-payers are involved. Working professionals are involved. The middle-class, the working class, the working poor have already picked up the tab on , as well as future generations.

      1. taxpayer says:

        Who are you kidding? The working tax payers are working right now. Paying for the streets that you are blocking. You do not represent me.. therefore you are not the 99% you are the .002% that are acting like idiots.

      2. Daniel says:

        I’m a working taxpayer and I’m certainly not represented by these wackos.

  2. RBR says:

    Wait until it is time to do the budget in Oakland and elswhere? Sorry no money for schools, police, seniors low income, ect. Hmm, who is to blame? Time to move out of Oakland.

  3. Joe Guy says:

    Buy a T-shirt. Fund the counter-revolution:

    Because you’re too busy working, or looking for work, to care!

  4. Andy S says:

    I’m part of the 53% that pays taxes so the 47% can litter public property and eat up public resources trying to get a bigger peace of the pie they don’t pay for. They need to spend more time looking for work or getting an education so they can find work instead of sucking up very limited public funds to cleanup behind them and watch over them so they don’t destroy other people’s property.

  5. Truthbox says:

    Here’s a chuckle….”Jordan said the department would ask for mutual aid from other law enforcement agencies if it becomes necessary, and that Oakland police “are prepared to protect people and property if the need arises.” Well, Jordan, don’t ask it from the SF Sheriff’s Dept. From what I hear, you won’t get it. As some of you may know, there was the recent chaos last week. Injuries were sustained from the use of percussion grenade and shot gun (pellet) use. It appears Oakland PD is now blaming this on the San Francisco Sheriff’s Dept as the cause of injuries. Interesting, the SF Sheriff’s Dept did not take any tactical grenades or shot guns to the protest under Sheriff Hennessey’s directive. From information now coming to light, they were sent only to hold the front line of the protest as mutual aid to Oakland PD. Sources say, a review of the video clearly shows the SF Deputy named for the injuries is standing holding a Paton as part of the front line, while an Oakland PD Sergeant moves forward with a shot gun, then retracts, then a grenade is tossed from behind the SF Deputy line. And, while the SF Sheriff’s have black & gold patches, the Oakland officer is clearly identifiable by his Silver patch. What this sounds like to me is Jordan is attempting to avoid another Oakland PD Excessive Force incident. It is also coming to light that some citizens who were shooting cell phone video are providing that to the SF Sheriff’s Dept in order to identify the officer involved. Jordan & Quan need to really be removed as Oakland is seriously hurting for strong leadership and if you have to lie to protect your own butt, then you seriously need to go.

  6. Jason says:

    This is just the beginning. We have money, power, and the people have now spoken. We are here to stay! We will never go away until the greedy banks pay off my high-interest credit cards and give me back my house that they illegally stole fom met last year. I will not go down without a fight.

    1. Hal says:

      Prove it! If you are borrowing and spending more than you have it is nobody’s fault but yours that you are under water!!

  7. Inez says:

    my friends and I live and work in Oakland. We do not support the campers. Tip: the corporate hq’s of those banks are NOT in Oakland. Big Businesses fled Oakland years ago because of the inept city council and crime. The 1% are laughing about your invasion of Oakland, a place you don’t live or work, a place THEY don’t live and work.

  8. CRJ says:

    It seems to me that, to really have an impact-nationwide, groups should institute “no gas on Tuesday” days OR even better – don’t shop on “Black Friday”…seriously, sleeping in a tent makes no difference one way or the other to business executives…it’s about the money.

  9. Marc D says:

    I read earlier that the teachers that were attending would be backfilled with substitutes. If they have so mouch money that they can just take a day off and have their jobs done by a paid substitute then quit saying the schools are underfunded. These people are idiots. Their protesting is using up all the available money that they say their programs need. Quit blaming your own problems on the wealthy people. You want a good life? Work for it. This is not a Communist state and no one owes you a living. I struggle every day to make it but I work hard and earn every penny I make.

  10. Bickens says:

    While some may believe the protesters are barking up the wrong trees, and should go to work instead of standing up for the growing demise of our economy that happens to affect so many Americans, I understand why the protesters are out there. I comprehend the unemployed who have not been able to return to the work force, so many who have been swindled out of their life savings and lost their homes as part of a bank and loan scam, thousands of our youth who had parents or loans to pave their way through college only to find out there are no jobs for graduates. Americas people are everyone’s problem, and no hard working adult, or child should be left behind. This is not about blame on the wealthy, it’s about doing what is right for fellow Americans, and paying a fair share rather than expecting the poor and disadvantaged to always pay. I do feel blame is due on the wealthy for their selfish greed. It is unreasonable to raise taxes on the least of America and allow the rich to have unlimited gains of wealth. What is so hard about giving back to Americans who have often become the contributors that created the wealth of the 1%. Americans should be able to live their lives with more dignity, and self-worth for their contributions to this country. Our elderly people who worked during their life time, our soldiers who gave up an education to fight wars, and come home only to sleep under a bridge. They deserve better!

  11. CMMV says:

    Those who ridicule the protesters are obviously not affected by the greed and corruption between the big corporations and the government which they denounce. For if they were affected they would truly understand. If our Representatives and Leaders don’t represent the American people then they should be replaced ASAP! VOTE people, VOTE!!

    1. Oakland Taxpayer says:

      No ridicule from me. Except what about the damage to Oakland and the cost to us 99% Oakland taxpayers who foot the bill? Suppose Oakland represents money/power? Last checked, it’s Washington DC. And these occupy folks live here? Pay taxes here? Buy things here?

  12. Inez says:

    How about these campers pour their energy into overturning Prop 13?

  13. Oakland Taxpayer says:

    A simple question. Why Oakland? We’re broke. Why not San Leandro…Fremont? And, how many of these occupy folks actually live in Oakland and pay taxes here? And, shop in Oakland? I do. And, guess who gets to pay the bill? Suppose it never crossed their minds to occupy Washington DC where the money/power is? And, this week I avoided shopping in Oakland and shopped in San Leandro…Fremont. Oh by the way, I and my neighbors are also among your 99%.

  14. WorkingStiff says:

    Apparently, some protesters are cleaning up the graffiti left by anarchists. 99% are peaceful. See, the 1% can muck it up for everyone.

  15. David says:

    I am not the 99 percent, I am not the 53 percent, I am not the 1 percent. I am a human being who doesn’t want others to speak up for him. Protest for yourselves if you must, but please stop claiming to represent me!

  16. More Hilarious Comedy from the left says:

    This is the most rediculous demonstration of nonsense and humor since the Three Stooges, Liberals protesting against the failed Policies of Liberals because they want to be members of a group. LOL Next come the pies in the face I can’t wait. This is so funny even Popeye is laughing arg arg arg arg. shut Oakland down arg arg arg arg, Protest the banks that the Liberals insistedn on bailing out because they had to because of Liberals regulating banks LOL and the Idiots that walk around clueless… I can’t stand it anymore hahahahahahah I am in Tears. When will it end and go on Fergerson.

  17. More Comedy says:

    Is Tonight the Night the Fat lady sings or get’s laid hahahahah
    Teachers protesting there own policies. Spanking themselfs oh god they are poking each other in the eyes/ Boink Boink. Now they are going after whole foods the same foods liberals in Berkeley Grow so Well Letterman and Ferguson and other comedians will have material for years. Biting there the hands that feed them My laughing muscles are sore, Film them and show them to there kids when they group up…hahahahaah Do you remember when your dad was an uninformed uneducated Idiot here he is on TV.

    9 9 9 raise Cain create Jobs and Educate the People

    Good Evening and Good Karma Too all of you and thanks for the laughs

  18. thomas1924 says:

    According to an article in this paper, earlier in the day, 95% of workers in Oakland are not taking part in this strike. We have extremes in this country. The tea party intimidating member of congress at the steps of the capitol when they were trying to pass health reform a few years back and these demonstrators who think they can block the street “because they own it”. Tea Party and these people. Different philosophies, same mind set. A radical is a radical.

  19. Oakland Taxpayer says:

    let’s do a quick check here…Whole Foods vandalized and closed for the day. Banks as well. World Market closes. And… more. So who wins? Well the occupiers, especially those non Oakland occupiers of course. Who loses? Well the workers aka 99%’ers lose a days pay. Who else wins? Well of course anyone that went to a Whole Foods or bank or World Market in another east bay city helped that location. And, now for the biggest loser…drum roll…good ol’ Oakland taxpayers.