Yesterday, police and Occupy protesters violently clashed in the streets of Oakland, CA.

Before dawn police raided an Occupy Oakland encampment at the plaza in front of City Hall, destroying tents, firing tear gas, and kicking out protesters who had been camped out for weeks. According to city officials, they removed protesters because of  fire hazards, health concerns and violence, which included 150 tents as well as health, child-care and kitchen areas.

The early morning raid was just a first in a day full of conflict and protests.

Later in the day, as protesters attempted to march back to City Hall, they were again confronted by police in riot gear who shot off tear gas and aggressively arrested protesters.

As night fell, conflicts between police and protesters grew even more contentious. Police officials say they were pelted with rocks, bottles, and paint balls by protesters, but many protesters dispute this claim.

According to the New York Times, around 9:30 p.m.Oakland police announced that protesters should disperse the scene or risk being hit with “chemical agents.” Shortly thereafter police fired flash bang grenades and tear gas into the crowd.

According to Davey D., a local Oakland DJ and hip hop historian, police fired at least 6 rounds of tear gas into the crowd. Many protesters even accuse police of firing these allegedly non-lethal weapons directly into the crowd, targeting specific individuals.

Despite several arounds of tear gas, flash bang grenades and nearly 100 arrests, Occupy Oakland demonstrators say they will continue the protests.

Ironically, last night also saw confrontations between police in Atlanta and Albuquerque, New Mexico and Occupy demonstrators.

Watching the protests unfold made me remember something activist Dick Gregory said just last week. When asked to compare the Occupy Wall Street Protests with the Civil Rights protests,  aptly commented:

“White folks is born in America with 300 years of White privilege, so you don’t deal with that the same way you deal with people who come out of the slave pit…You got a different DNA out there today and I think this is where America is making a mistake. They don’t realize they are dealing with their children, escalated. Do you know White folks is not gonna let them put fire hoses on they children and beat them down on the ground? That’s how we won. 

“We won the greatest movement in the history of the planet–that 1960s civil rights movement. But remember we wasn’t the ones that got LBJ out there, it was those White kids. And they didn’t know you couldn’t go to Kent [State University] and shoot White children like you can shoot Mexicans and Black folks.” 

Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • it’s oakland, are we surprised?

    • Natacha

      What does that mean exactly?



  • jamesfrmphilly


  • JMichelle

    after hearing reports about it this morning, it seems it might have been the protestors who “started” it. They threw things at the police officers, verbally assaulted them, etc. Of course law enforcement are going to respond. I think the tear gas, bean bags, etc were used as a last resort (they were asked at least twice to leave the area that day).

    Though Oakland PD definitely isn’t held in the highest regard (and for good reason), especially since the shooting & killing of Oscar Grant, I don’t think they were out of line in this case. Though I haven’t seen the videos yet.

    And like I heard on the news this morning, what are these protestors trying to accomplish? Besides camping out in public, smoking weed, and costing taxpayers dollars to have those areas policed and w/ EMT services. Have they even made their demands yet?

    • entro

      The police are never justified in beating unarmed people. Please don’t buy into the media myth that these people are unorganized, no real demands its just not true.
      I recently read a piece on hufpost that dispelled those myths you may want to search the web to find other articles.
      It makes me wonder where were the police when some member of the Tea Party showed up for an Obama speech carrying a rifle ? It was widely publicized as a matter of fact it was a black guy. This man went unharmed or harrassed