Sunday, January 29, 2012

Massive showdown in Oakland as 300 Occupy protesters arrested after police use tear gas to tackle huge demonstration

About 300 people were arrested in Oakland yesterday during a chaotic day of Occupy protests that saw demonstrators break into City Hall and burn an American flag, and police fire tear gas and use 'flash' grenades to disperse hundreds of people after some in the crowd threw rocks and bottles and tore down fencing outside a convention center.

It was the most turbulent day of protests since November, when Oakland police forcefully dismantled an Occupy encampment. An exasperated Mayor Jean Quan, who faced heavy criticism for the police action last fall, called on the Occupy movement to 'stop using Oakland as its playground.'

'People in the community and people in the Occupy movement have to stop making excuses for this behavior,' she said.

Authorities say protesters clashed with police throughout the day, at times throwing rocks, bottles and other objects at officers. The protests grew as the day wore on with an estimated 2,000 demonstrators in the streets at one point.

Most of the arrests came around 8pm, when police took about scores of protesters into custody as they marched through the city's downtown, with some entering a YMCA building, according to officials. Read More