Two weekends ago, the Occupy movement picked up in Oakland after a winter holiday hiatus. The continued chaos is apparently causing local independent business owners to close up shop, according to a KRON-4 report.
It was on Saturday, January 28th that things ended violently, once again putting the city of Oakland in the national spotlight.
For weeks the protests had waned, with only a smattering of people taking to Oakland's streets for occasional weekend marches that bore little resemblance to the headline-grabbing Occupy demonstrations of last fall.
Then came Saturday, which started peacefully enough -- a midday rally at City Hall and a march. But hours later, the scene near downtown Oakland had dramatically deteriorated: clashes punctuated by rock and bottle throwing by protesters and volleys of tear gas from police, and a City Hall break-in that left glass cases smashed, graffiti spray-painted on walls and an American flag burned.
More than 400 people were arrested on charges ranging from failure to disperse to vandalism, police spokesman Sgt. Jeff Thomason said. At least three officers and one protester were injured.
KGO ABC News Raw Footage Video
(BCN) -- OAKLAND police arrested an estimated 400 people Saturday during a day of protests that began with an attempt to take over a vacant building and ended with mass arrests and a break-in and vandalism at City Hall. Oakland
Protestors that broke into City Hall Saturday evening broke an interior window in a hearing room, tipped over and damaged a historic model of City Hall, destroyed a case holding a model of Frank Ogawa Plaza, broke into the fire sprinkler and elevator closet, stole flags and burned one flag in front of the building, according to City Administrator Deanna J. Santana.
In addition, public works staff are working to remove "offensive" graffiti in
, removing debris from City Hall and the plaza area and fixing a damaged sprinkler system, Santana said. Frank Ogawa Plaza
"While City Hall sustained damage, we anticipate that all city offices will be open for regular business tomorrow," Santana said.
The attack on city hall occurred while police were busy arresting several hundred protestors outside the YMCA at 2350 Broadway in
Police alleged protestors were trying to break into the building and had ignored a dispersal order issued around Protestors said they were trying to escape through the building from police, who had surrounded the group.
KTVU-Channel 2 Reporter Is Harrassed and Spit Upon While Covering Protests:
KGO Reporter Arrested During Occupy Oakland Protest
KGO's Kristin Hanes was covering the daylong demonstrations in downtown Oakland on Saturday evening when police corralled several hundred protesters in front of the YMCA building on Broadway and began a mass arrest.
Law enforcement officials gave an order to disperse but did not give any directions to protesters on where or how to leave. Within minutes police announced the group had failed to disperse and that they were all under arrest.
Hanes tried explaining to several officers that she was a member of the press and showed them her credentials. However, she was told her press pass was only good for San Francisco and not the city of Oakland.
Hanes had been reporting on-air and was sending out messages on Twitter before and after her hands were cuffed and read her Miranda rights.
She also posted a note on Facebook where she wrote: "Tonight, I was arrested for doing my job, being a news reporter, covering an Occupy Oakland rally. Arresting officer: "Do you have any knives, guns, weapons?" Me: "Of course not, I'm a reporter." Officer: "That might be the most dangerous of them all." Finally, I was released. Whenever journalists are arrested for reporting the news, everyone's freedom is at risk. That is what frightens me the most."
Click here for full story and to hear Kristin Hanes' audio report.