Occupy Oakland: Protest spokeswoman says police action 'beyond' what's necessary
Kat Brooks, an Occupy Oakland activist and spokeswoman, said she took her young daughter home about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday because she did not want to expose her to the tear gas flooding downtown Oakland.
Protesters had marched from Frank Ogawa Plaza at City Hall to Snow Park, a swatch of green near Lake Merritt where an annex encampment had also been torn down by police this morning. They then returned to City Hall.
"We weren’t there but a minute before they started giving the dispersal order," Brooks said. "The first time they said five minutes, this time they said 'now.' They shot off the flash grenades and people scattered."
Brooks said her neighbors just returned home teargassed.
Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan has said the crowd's violent behavior demanded strong action. But Brooks called that "an absolute lie."
"This is the most disciplined I’ve ever seen Oakland be. There was no damage to property," she said. At one point, Brooks said, several officers were hit with paintballs, but she said they had come out swinging batons.
"From the way they came into the camp this morning to the way they acted tonight, they have gone beyond what was necessary," she said.
-- Lee Romney in Oakland
Photo: An Occupy Oakland protester stands with a banner after police used tear gas to disperse the crowd Tuesday evening. Credit: Associated Press