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Occupy Oakland Demonstrators Burn American Flag

The Occupy Oakland protest took the most violent turn in weeks on Saturday January 28th.  Coming just months after the Occupy Oakland camp was taken down by Oakland police and a few days after the  movement announces its intent to use a vacant building as it’s base for the future plans to try to shut down the port, occupy the airport and take over City Hall

Protesters broke into one of the historic buildings, burn an American Flag,destroying parts of the building and tearing down fencing at a convention center.

While  police maintained a late-night guard around City Hall following daylong protests that resulted in 300 arrests.  Mayor Jean Quan called on the Occupy movement to “stop using Oakland as its playground.”   Saying also “People in the community and people in the Occupy movement have to stop making excuses for this behavior,” Protesters clashed with police throughout the day, at times throwing rocks, bottles and other objects at officers. And police responded by deploying smoke, tear gas and bean bag rounds resulting in 300 arrests.

Deanna Santana was quoted as saying,

“This is not a situation where we had 1,000 peaceful people and a few violent people. If you look at what’s happening today in terms of destructing property, throwing at and charging the police, “it’s almost like they are begging for attention and hoping that the police will make an error”.

The group assembled outside City Hall late Saturday morning and marched through the streets, disrupting traffic as they threatened to take over the vacant Henry Kaiser Convention Center.The protesters walked to the vacant convention center, where some started tearing down perimeter fencing and “destroying construction equipment” shortly before 3 p.m., police said.

Dispersal order was issued and used smoke and tear gas after some protesters pelted them with bottles, rocks, burning flares and other objects.Demonstrators numbers swelled as the day wore on, with afternoon estimates ranging from about 1,000 to 2,000 people.

Dozens of officers surrounded City Hall, while others swept the inside of the building looking for protesters who had broken into the building, then ran out of the building with American flags before officers arrived.

The protest group issued an email criticizing police, saying “Occupy Oakland’s building occupation, an act of constitutionally protected civil disobedience was disrupted by a brutal police response today.”

 


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