Police Attack Occupy Oakland with Massive Force: over 100 Arrested

by the Bay Area Revolution Writing Group 

At 4 a.m. hundreds of police in riot gear from many different cities cordoned off the blocks of the area around City Hall and Oscar Grant Plaza (Frank Ogawa Plaza), kept the media out, and completely surrounded the camp.  Police made a dispersal announcement and simultaneously moved on the camp, ripping up tents, scattering belongings everywhere. Flash grenades went off and smoke filled the air. Someone tweeted that as the attack ensued, the encampment marching band was playing, hard. About 70 people were arrested.

As word spread of the attack, others came to downtown Oakland to protest. Police made more arrests—we witnessed incidents of police suddenly swarming in on people and taking them away.  This afternoon the National Lawyers Guild told Revolution that a total of over 100 people had been arrested. Tuesday, October 25: At 3 a.m. word went around that the encampment would be raided. Later they would learn that hundreds of cops began staging at the Oakland Coliseum at around 1 a.m.

Back at the camp, a couple hundred people prepared to stand their ground. Two youths told me that they waited for the raid but that when it happened it was swift and overwhelming—much more violent than anyone expected: a military assault.

The second encampment (Snow Park) near Lake Merritt was also raided. People told Revolution of beatings they witnessed, including one involving a disabled woman. One man was beaten so bad he could not walk to the paddy wagon and an ambulance had to be brought in to take him away. For a few hours after the camp was destroyed people continued to stay in the street, to gather in groups, confronting the police and denouncing the assault. Black, white, Asian, Latino, old, young, homeless and well-heeled: the crowd was diverse and deeply angry.

Oakland Mayor Quan defended the raid in the name of “sanitation” and “public safety” in a press conference she held with the chief of police in City Hall, behind police barricades after this violent raid was carried out.  No one from the public was allowed in. Mayor Quan issued a statement defending the raid and praising the police. “I commend Chief Jordan for a generally peaceful resolution to a situation that deteriorated and concerned our community. His leadership was critical in the successful execution of this operation.”

This is not over.  There is a planned regroupment at 4 p.m. today at the Main Library in downtown Oakland, followed by a march to a City Council meeting scheduled for this evening. Protesters are reportedly being held on $10,000 bail each until a Thursday morning court date. People are being urged to call the mayor (510-238-3141 ) and the Sheriff ( 510-272-6878 ) to demand their immediate release.

This article originally appeared on the site Revolution.