Occupy Oakland Demonstrators Gassed in Police Standoff
Police fired tear gas into a crowd of over 100 Occupy Oakland protesters who had marched to City Hall to reclaim the camp they’d been evicted from early Tuesday.
A haze of smoke from tear gas hung over the scene as bottles were reportedly thrown among the crowd of demonstrators who marched amidst heavy police presence to Oakland’s City Hall at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night.
Police fired the gas after a third order to disperse in an attempt to break up a group of demonstrators heading back toward the area where the Occupy Oakland camp was cleared out by authorities Tuesday morning.
The late night tear gassing by police was the fourth instance in three hours, according to The Associated Press. Despite police warnings to disperse, most of the protesters did not leave and several people were arrested.
In Tuesday morning’s raid of the Occupy Oakland encampment 97 people were arrested, according to city officials, while a total of 170 were removed from the camp, according to ABC News Bay Area affiliate KGO. The camp had been set up in downtown Oakland for over two weeks.
Throughout Tuesday a number of clashes erupted between police as a group of approximately 500 protesters began a march at the main branch of the Oakland Public Library heading to Frank Ogawa Plaza to retake the space.
During some of the evening’s skirmishes protesters reportedly threw paint on police officers, who responded to a number of these smaller clashes with tear gas. The AP reported that at least five protesters were arrested and several others injured in the evening clashes.
Oakland Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said that a total of 102 arrests had been made so far, but that number is increasing.
At a late night news conference Chief Jordan told reporters that authorities had no other choice then to use the tear gas, saying the protesters were throwing rocks and bottles at officers. Authorities have also denied reports that they used flash-bang canisters to help break up the crowds, saying the loud noises came from large firecrackers.
Carlos Villarreal, a spokesman for the National Lawyers Guild, which represents the protesters, told KGO that two protesters suffered broken hands when they were arrested and one protestor was taken to a hospital with head injuries.