Earlier this week, Occupy Oakland protesters made plans to move into a vacant convention center, and turn it into a political hub, according to police. Oakland City Administrator Deanna Santana quickly released a statement that said the city would not be “bullied by threats of violence or illegal activity.”
By Saturday afternoon, the protestors had made their way to the convention center, where they breached the perimeter fence. Protesters also threatened to occupy the airport and City Hall.
An order to disperse was given and by 3 p.m., the protesters responded by tossing rocks and bottles at the police officers, police said.
To gain control of the more than 1,000 protesters, police used “flash grenades,” smoke and tear gas. The crowd thinned significantly about an hour later, as protesters retreated from the convention center and headed back downtown. About 100 arrests were made around 8 p.m., Police Sgt. Christopher Bolton said, when the protesters reached the downtown area.
Oakland police officers surrounded City Hall and “busloads” of out-of-area sheriffs are headed to Oakland, Calif., to provide backup for the local police force that has seemingly smacked the protesters with an iron fist.
About 300 arrests in total have been made since the Occupy Oakland protests launched in October.
Occupy Oakland is on Twitter: @OakFoSho
GRAPHIC Video: Strong language.