Protesters across the world hit the streets Tuesday on May Day to rally against austerity measures and call for higher wages and more jobs.
Marches turned violent in Oakland, where protesters pounded on bank windows and went face-to-face with a police line, and in Seattle, where protesters dressed in black smashed windows and police pepper-sprayed some in the crowds.
In the United States, the protests are seen as the biggest test for the Occupy movement since many of its camps were shuttered late last year. Occupiers in more than 100 cities across the country were expected to protest on the day that traditionally celebrates workers’ rights.
OAKLAND, CA — Police were in the process of arresting about 100 Occupy Oakland protesters for failing to disperse Saturday night, hours after officers used tear gas on a rowdy group of demonstrators who threw rocks and flares at them and tore down fences.
Police Sgt. Christopher Bolton said the arrests came after protesters marched through downtown Oakland a little before 8 p.m. Saturday, with some of them entering a YMCA building.
Meanwhile, about 100 police officers surrounded City Hall while others were swept the inside of the building to see if any protesters broke in.
More help from other police agencies was also on the way, with busloads of Alameda County sheriff’s deputies arriving in the downtown area late Saturday.
The nighttime arrests came after 19 people were taken into custody in Occupy Oakland protests hours earlier.
What really happened:
Oakland police used tear gas and “flash” grenades Saturday to break up hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters after some agent provocateurs dressed as protesters started throwing rocks and flares at officers and tearing down fencing in order to facilitate the illusion of the necessity of forceful riot police response.
For the internet, here’s a first-hand account of Occupy Oakland on 1/28/2012, because the news never tells the full story. I’ll tell you about the street battle, the 300+ arrests, the vandalism, the flag burning, all in the context of my experience today. This is deeper than the headlines. No major news source can do that for you, but Reddit can.
Throngs of anti-Wall Street protesters rallied in downtown Oakland, a West Coast Occupy hot spot, on Saturday and vowed to set up a new encampment to replace one forcibly dismantled by police earlier in the week.
A crowd of many hundreds of Occupy Oakland protesters chanting “We are the 99 percent” marched down the streets with drums beating and trumpets blaring.
The protesters said they were eyeing a park three blocks away from Frank Ogawa plaza, the site of their former encampment, and planned to take it over on Saturday night in a move that could set the stage for a showdown with police.
On November 2nd, Oakland police struck a peaceful Army Ranger who was supporting the Occupy protest with nightsticks on his back, ribs, shoulders and hands, lacerating his spleen and causing internal bleeding.
Dozens of firefighters and police officers entered Zuccotti Park Friday morning to confiscate generators and gas canisters.
Fire trucks and police vans pulled up on the corner of Broadway and Liberty St. at about 8:30 a.m. and asked the encamped demonstrators to bring the items to them, saying they were a health and fire hazard.
“They made an announcement on a bullhorn saying: ‘We are here to take the generators, could you please bring them up to us on the corner of Broadway and Liberty St.,’” protester James Bennett said.
When no one from Occupy Wall Street surrendered the generators, more than 30 uniformed FDNY and NYPD officials entered the park to seize them, witnesses and officials said.
“We did send 30 or 40 firefighters through the park, the police department had its community affairs department there to make sure everyone was safe,” Mayor Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show Friday.
“Our first two concerns are the First Amendment and safety, and this was about safety.”
Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old former U.S. Marine who was struck in the head by a flash-bang grenade thrown by police during Tuesday’s Occupy Oakland protests, has been upgraded from critical to fair condition overnight.