Oakland police arrest more than 100 Occupy protesters
>Oakland police arrested more than 100 Occupy protesters Saturday after they failed to take over a vacant downtown convention center.
Police in riot gear faced off with demonstrators Saturday afternoon at a rally near City Hall. Hundreds of protesters then marched toward the vacant Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, where they began tearing down the fencing around the auditorium, and police moved to stop them.
By 3 p.m., an area to the west near the Oakland Museum of California was declared an illegal assembly as a thick line of riot-clad officers attempted to disperse the protesters. Police fired tear gas and flash grenades, and some demonstrators responded by throwing rocks and bottles, according to media reports.
A number of arrests occurred when demonstrators "ignored the dispersal order and assaulted officers," police said. Three officers were reported injured, but no details were released about the injuries.
In a flier distributed at the starting march, organizers explained that the movement, “like millions of people, needs a home. Because thousands of buildings sit empty -- for the simple reason that they exist to enrich the 1%. Because with our own space we can create a social center that begins to meet people’s needs -- our needs -- and work to build a world based on humanity and community, not profit.”
City Administrator Deanna Santana said the city "will not be bullied by threats of violence or illegal activity.... Breaking into buildings, assaulting police officers, provoking confrontations and vandalizing property are tactics that are counterproductive and divide our community. They drain scarce city resources away from the neighborhoods in greatest need. Oakland deserves better."
-- Lee Romney in Oakland
Photo: Police move in on Occupy Oakland protesters as tear gas gets blown back on them. Credit: Jane Tyska / AP Photo