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Add comment on:Battle for Occupy Oakland Begins with Police Raid, 10/25/11: video
Within fifteen minutes of having rolled up on Broadway and surrounding streets in large convoys, over 500 police officers in riot gear were positioned around Oscar Grant Plaza ready to storm Occupy Oakland. Oakland police took the lead but were backed up by sixteen other police departments. Several occupiers linked arms at the edge of the barricades in the front of the plaza, where a two-week birthday celebration had been held for the occupation just twelve hours earlier. Shortly after the police line approached the front entrance to Oscar Grant Plaza, at least one occupier came up from behind the others and discharged two small fire extinguishers in the direction of the police line. Before the nitrogen cloud from the extinguishers reached police at its maximum still-thick expansion point, police responded by firing projectiles and tear gas shells and hand-lobbing at least one flash-bang grenade over the barricades. Due to the direction of the slight breeze at the time, and what appeared to be police CS shells placed into a tube to focus the direction of the gas by an occupier, the tear gas police had released wafted back toward the police line, at which point they put on gas masks under their riot helmets. As police moved forward and began to disassemble the barricades on the Broadway and 14th Street sides of the plaza, occupiers moved deeper into the plaza, many leaving the plaza through an escape route on the opposite side of the plaza that police had left open temporarily. Once the barricades were removed, police marched through the camp tearing down tents, knocking over shelving, and pulling down almost everything that stood in the plaza. Police closed their encirclement of the plaza on all sides and announced that those who remained were under arrest. Over 70 people were arrested within the plaza during the raid, several reporting that they were shoved down to the ground and hit with batons before they were handcuffed and transported to either North County or Santa Rita jail. Within twenty minutes from the time police first fired into the camp, the occupation site was flattened, the plaza was cleared of all occupiers, and police began to disperse. The video here includes the entire raid through the last person who was recorded being arrested on this side of the plaza.
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