OAKLAND, California – At approximately 9pm on Saturday, January 7, a 200-250 person anti-police march began at Oscar Grant Plaza in response to the dozens upon dozens of arrests that have occurred over the past few weeks during vigils at the plaza. (Watch this video, recorded shortly before the march, for a description of the recent arrests. Start the video at 1hr 10min).
The marchers were able to reach the police station, but were greeted by a few hundred police. A few rocks or bottles were thrown at police, but the marchers continued to move on their way. The march zig-zagged down different roads avoiding lines of police. A half an hour later, police eventually blocked marchers and prevented them from continuing forward. A small bonfire was lit in the center of the street around 30-50m away from the police line. The police began moving forward to extinguish the flame and in that process blocked exits of bars along the street. Police then charged the crowd and tackled a few individuals and arrested them. Some demonstrators were beaten with batons, including observers. One demonstrator was shot in the face by a rubber bullet. In total 6 were arrested.
Police kettled the crowd at 9th and Washington for 15-20 minutes. Police eventually gave a dispersal warning and allowed demonstrators to leave. The crowd then regrouped at Oscar Grant Plaza.
Police appear to have targeted specific individuals. Reportedly one BART train was stopped and searched by police for fleeing demonstrators. At least one medic was arrested while giving medical attention to someone the police injured.
According to the OPD press release, “[during] the march, protesters broke patrol vehicle windows, vandalized a media van, threw bottles at the police, and lit an object on fire at the intersection of 8th Street and Washington Street.
As of 11:00 p.m., six protesters have been arrested. Offenses ranged from assaulting officers, possession of explosives, resisting/delaying officers, and vandalism. One of the protesters arrested was in possession of an explosive device described as a quarter stick of dynamite.” (via graphic journalist Susie Cagle)
- Watch this video of an #OO videographer being arrested last week during a police raid on a vigil.
- An OccupyOakland demonstrator is facing a lifetime prison sentence and will be having a hearing in Pleasanton, California on Monday at 9am. Read more. Update: Khali’s pre-trial is set for February