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Some Occupy sympathizers criticize Oakland vandalism

January 30, 2012 | 11:21 am


After Occupy protests in Oakland culminated with some activists vandalizing City Hall and burning American flags, some sympathetic to the movement from across the nation took to Twitter on Monday to voice criticism of the weekend’s events.

Police arrested about 400 activists during daylong protests Saturday, marking the most heated clash since authorities broke up the movement’s encampment last November.

On Sunday, city officials showed reporters the aftermath in City Hall, where floors were littered with trash, glass display cases were smashed, and electrical wires were cut.

PHOTOS: Occupy Oakland protest

"Oakland? That's not a movement. Violence, setting fires, vandalizing public buildings, that's not what #OWS is supposed to be about," user AstoriaHaiku of Astoria, N.Y., wrote, referring to Occupy Wall Street.

Twitter user Rebekah Haas cautioned that the movement’s credibility could be undermined.

"I'm just going to throw this out there my fellow #occupyoakland-ers. All this violence is doing nothing except having people lose respect," she wrote.

Another in Mobile, Ala., calling himself B. Hamm, also urged restraint: "I have supported you from the beginning and know your frustration -- please try to remain non-violent as most of you are."

Many were particularly critical of the flag burning, saying it was going too far.

"I'm all about free speech, but when you go as far as to burn an American flag, you no longer have my sympathy or support," wrote Becky Armendariz in Phoenix.

J. Victor Hedman, contrasting Occupy Oakland with Martin Luther King’s protests, wrote: "Violence is hurting the cause … esp[ecially] flag burning." Twitter user 1stBeStrong echoed the sentiment, writing: "Peace was the one thing we had over COPS!"

Others still wanted clarification on how exactly the violence erupted. OccypyNH, calling itself the "official twitter of the Occupy New Hampshire movement," asked of Occupy Oakland: "Please clear this up for me: was it you who instigated the violence yesterday or the police?"


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-- Victoria Kim