A crowd of roughly 400 Occupy Oakland protesters clashed with police Tuesday evening while trying to reclaim a campsite that they had been ousted from earlier in the day. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the crowd marched from the public library toward Frank Ogawa Plaza at about 5 p.m., vowing to confront police.
At one point, protesters threw paint at riot police officers' faces and helmets while chanting, "This is why we call you pigs."
The crowd grew as protesters marched around several downtown streets, but police kept demonstrators away from the former Occupy Oakland encampment outside City Hall at 14th and Broadway.
There were some violent exchanges, although by 6:40 p.m. most of the protesters were simply marching.
Earlier, when officers in riot gear hemmed in protesters on Washington Street and attempted to arrest one person, about 50 more surrounded them shouting, "Let him go, let him go."
Protesters threw turquoise and red paint at the riot police officers' faces and helmets. Some led the crowd in chanting, "This is why we call you pigs."
In what now seems an eerie premonition, Zombie's blog captured the following image at the Occupy Oakland festivities just yesterday:
Compared to the scene Tuesday evening:
According to the Chronicle some demonstrators pleaded with agitators in the group to remain peaceful but they instead chose to fight with police. The provocateurs were subsequently clubbed, kicked and peppered with flash grenades by law enforcement.
The bulk of the arrests were made within a mere five minutes of law enforcement descending on the swarm of occupiers. One of those arrested had allegedly been squatting at the campsite with her 2-year-old daughter.
Some peaceful protesters condemned the provocative actions of other demonstrators:
"They didn't have to force police into that situation," said Helen Walker, 46, a nurse from Albany. "It was totally provoked, and if I could have, I would have stopped those idiots from throwing paint."
At about 6:20 p.m. protesters tried to enter Frank Ogawa Plaza, but were met by a line of police in riot gear who quickly donned gas masks and ordered the crowd to disperse. After activists came face-to-face with police, they sat down in the intersection before moving on and trying to enter the plaza from another side street.
The confrontation came hours after police swept through Occupy Oakland's 15-day-old encampment outside City Hall and a second, smaller camp nearby, arresting 85 people who were protesting as part of a nationwide movement against economic inequality and corporate greed.
City officials said they were forced to clear the encampments due to sanitary and public safety concerns.
According to authorities, police fired two or three nonlethal projectiles from a shotgun at protesters who lobbed bottles, cans and other objects.
"I am very pleased with the way things went," interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said at a news conference. "In the end, I think we allowed people to exercise their rights to free speech and free assembly."
The rest of Zombie's pictures from Occupy Oakland on Monday can be viewed here.
KCRA provides a report on Tuesday's arrests:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/ONxOtgRsL0k?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]
RT provides footage of protesters being lead away by police:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/q_SmVnjoA08?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]
Bold emphasis added by The Blaze.