May Day 2012

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OAKLAND, California – Demonstrations for International Worker’s Day began in Oakland with scheduled actions focusing on anti-gentrification, anti-capitalism, and anti-patriarchy. Demonstrations began around 8:30am at different locations through out the city. By early morning, banners hung from several overpasses along 980 and other freeways.

A number of arrests occurred in the morning, particularly at the anti-capitalism march. Around 11:30am, the anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchy marches converged on 14th & Broadway (adjacent to Oscar Grant Plaza), where dozens of marchers embraced each other, cheers rang out, and people danced in the streets.

Shortly afterwards, the crowd was informed that banks in downtown were still open despite targeted shutdowns by the anti-capitalist march earlier. A crowd of some 400 on 14th and Broadway responded by heading north up Broadway to shut the bank branches down. The march successfully entered a few banks, but were stopped by police in riot gear along much of the march. The marchers were prevented from turning down several roads, until eventually pouring out onto Lakeside Dr. As the march passed the Bank of America branch, more police spilled in front of the wide glass exterior. After some tagging and vandalism, the march continued back to Oscar Grant Plaza. During the return to the Plaza, the police brazenly entered the crowd near 15th and Broadway, partly splitting the crowd in two without apparent purpose.

As the crowd reached 14th and Broadway, police attempted to evict the demonstrators from the intersection reportedly using flash-bang grenades, tazers, batons, and other “non-lethal” weapons. [Several people were arrested during the altercation with police, including some who were injured and taken to the hospital].

By around 1pm, the crowd swelled to about 1500 demonstrators at Oscar Grant Plaza for a rally. Police continued apparent intimidation tactics by forming police lines at various walkways into the Plaza, making their presence felt within the former perimeter of last Fall’s tent city. Around 2pm, police evicted demonstrators from Oscar Grant Plaza; some left to join the march leaving from East Oakland, while others seemed to disappear into other parts of downtown. During this confrontation, Alameda County Sheriffs deployed an armored vehicle equipped with what appeared to be LRAD sound cannons.

Around 3:30pm, a march left from Fruitvale BART station to head toward Oscar Grant Plaza. By 4pm, the march had reportedly swelled to thousands strong, while as many as a [few thousand] wait at San Antonio Park to join the Fruitvale marchers.

Update:

5:10pm – The Fruitvale marchers have arrived at San Antonio Park. As many as 5000 demonstrators now rallying, waiting to continue the march to the Plaza.

Marchers from Fruitvale arrived around an hour later, ending with thousands in the intersection of 14th and Broadway for a rally. As the sun set, numbers dwindled. Notably, police held a heavy presence all afternoon, keeping several dozen officers on the north end of the plaza, as well as on neighboring streets and alleyways.

When darkness fell, the approximately thousand person crowd muddled about on 14th and within the plaza. The heavy police presence and the lack of clear objectives for the evening created a sense of uneasiness in the crowd.

Eventually the tension was cut by a police instigated maneuver, apparently targeting people holding shields constructed of wood and corrugated metal. As the 500-600 strong police force squeezed into 14th and Broadway from three sides, some demonstrators were trampled and arrested. Police reformed lines multiple times, gave multiple dispersal orders and eventually pushed the crowd north on Broadway towards 15th. In the final standoff, the police charged the crowd, viciously tackling and beating protestors to the ground. The remnant several hundred traveled further north along Broadway or scattered.

For the next several hours hundreds of police roved through streets on foot, on motorcycle, in squad cars, and in rented white vans. The police targeted previously arrested and well known Occupy Oakland demonstrators, while playing a cat and mouse game with the larger groups vandalizing property.

As the night wore on, a few hundred demonstrators returned to 14th and Broadway. However, police were eventually able to separate and push demonstrators away from the intersection. Notably, a few dozen police on motorcycles aligned themselves next to the demonstrators and began loudly revving their engines and blasting their sirens.

LOS ANGELES, California – Some 1200 United Service Workers West Union members have shut down normal operation of some terminals at LAX. Traffic has remained tenuous through out the day with dozens of marches. ┬áThere have been small altercations with police throughout the day with a few possible arrests, but police are allowing protesters to gather at Pershing Square in Downtown LA for the evening events.

Read more:

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Despite the high anticipations for the Golden Gate Bridge shutdown, plans to occupy the bridge were called off only days before May 1st. However, Ferry service in SF was shut down due to striking workers. In the early afternoon, the 888 Turk building was reoccupied.

Update:

  • #888Turk was raided before dawn on May 2nd. Read more.

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One Response to “May Day 2012”

  1. morris Says:

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