Occupy Oakland: Police release video of City Hall break-in
Oakland police Wednesday released a video of Occupy protesters breaking into City Hall and asked the public for help identifying the perpetrators.
The surveillance video, taken Saturday, shows a man prying open the front door with a crowbar and a crowd streaming in, dumping garbage on the floor and stealing an American flag that they then burn on the building’s front steps.
“This type of criminal behavior, clearly outside of the 1st Amendment, is disrespectful to the residents of Oakland and is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in my city,” said newly appointed Police Chief Howard Jordan. “The residents of the city deserve better than this, and it’s time for the violence and vandalism to cease.”
At least 360 people involved in Occupy demonstrations were arrested Saturday during an action in which they pledged to take over a vacant building as a new headquarters.
The City Hall break-in came in the evening, after a failed attempt by protesters to enter the empty convention center.
A separate group of demonstrators was arrested in and around the downtown YMCA after some of them entered the building. Police have said the group “invaded” the YMCA. Demonstrators maintain they were merely trying to get away from police, who had hemmed them in and not given them an opportunity to disperse.
-- Lee Romney in San Francisco
Photo: Protesters burn an American flag at Oakland City Hall on Saturday. Credit: Beck Diefenbach / Associated Press