Occupy Oakland turns violent as police, protesters clash
Tensions are still high in Oakland where Police in riot gear clashed with Occupy Wall Street protesters earlier this week. Only about a dozen demonstrators remain outside City Hall, defiant in the aftermath of violent skirmish that left several injured and scores arrested, The Associated Press reports.
The conflict started when police began firing tear gas and bean bag rounds into the tent city that had occupied the space across the street from City Hall for nearly two weeks. The effort proved effective and the protesters were removed within a short time. However, demonstrators met at a nearby library and began a march on City Hall, only to be met with police in riot gear.
The clashes continued through the night, with police lobbing several rounds of tear gas to clear the area. Although there were reports of officers using flash-bang grenades to disperse the crowd, the police have said the noise was caused by protesters setting off fireworks. Despite the skirmish, some demonstrators are not deterred.
“This movement is more than just the people versus the police,” Mario Fernandez told the AP. “It’s about the people trying to have their rights to basic services. This crowd isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”
While the conflict in Oakland has been the most violent of the Occupy movement, it certainly has not been the only one to see rising tensions between police and protesters. In Atlanta, police broke up the encampment in the city’s Woodruff Park on Tuesday night, arrested 53 people in the process, NBC affiliate WXIA reports.