Police arrested more than one-hundred people in Downtown Oakland this morning after they refused to leave the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall. I went from the airport directly to the Plaza about 1:30 to get some Thai food, a new computer cord for my camera, and to see what was happening with the demonstrators. My friend Bill and I spent an hour with the crowd which was angrily facing off maybe 100 or 200 cops from Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Clara County and, for good measure, the California Highway Patrol. Fourteenth Street was closed down. The big Tully’s on the corner locked its door. Young men and women called out endless fuckyous to the police blocking access to the plaza. Haggard teenage campers sat solemnly on the sidewalk, mad and sad about the crackdown. The scene was youth, police, and the aroma of violence.
A live blog from the street reports tonight that maybe 1,000 people are moving toward City Hall and the action includes tear gas, “wooden dowels” and concussion grenades (police), thrown paint (protestors). Someone smashed the windows of a CHP car at 16th and Broadway.
Oakland is not Seattle, folks, I’m here to tell you. This is a mixture of radicals of many stripes, high school, college, and street kids, unemployed people, and East Bay liberals (I apologize for the generalizations here). I have to say that in Seattle we wanna be polite; in Oakland, they wanna get it on. I’m gonna follow the action live here http://www.insidebayarea.com/top-stories/ci_19188125