|Image via Wikipedia|
This is the latest official statement from Oakland PD this morning.
Oakland, CA – At an 8:30 pm press briefing, Oakland officials provided updates on the Occupy activities in downtown Oakland. “Once again, a violent splinter group of the Occupy Movement is engaging in violent actions against Oakland,” said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.
“The Bay Area Occupy Movement has got to stop using Oakland as their playground.”
Earlier today protesters unsuccessfully attempted to break into the historic Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, they charged a skirmish line at Oak Street and pelted officers with bottles, metal pipe, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices and burning flares.
Oakland Police Department deployed smoke, tear gas and beanbag projectiles. By 4 pm, an Occupy crowd of approximately 300 had returned to Frank Ogawa Plaza. After a brief respite, the group returned to the streets and marched through downtown Oakland. After ignoring a dispersal order, at approximately 6:30 pm, the arrest protesters invaded the YMCA and were arrested.
Simultaneously, a different group of protesters burnt an American flag in front of Oakland City Hall before breaking into the historic building. Damage to exhibits has been reported. Officers will be making arrests onsite. “There is no excuse for the behavior we experienced this evening,” said Council President Larry Reid when responding to an inquiry about damage to City Hall. “From their own posts and their letter to the Mayor and City Council, the demonstrators’ stated intention was to provoke the police and engage in illegal activity,” said City Administrator Deanna J. Santana.
As of this release, the total arrests are estimated at 200. Three police officers and one protester have been injured and three private vehicles have been vandalized. The City of Oakland has received mutual aid from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and the cities of Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley, Pleasanton and Union City/Newark.