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Occupy Oakland Move-In Day - 19th Street and YMCA Kettles, 1/28/12: photos
After an hour respite from police attacks on Move-In Day, hundreds of marchers headed northward out of Oscar Grant Plaza up San Pablo Avenue, presumably to reclaim an alternate vacant building for use as a community center for Occupy Oakland. Within fifteen minutes, Oakland police began to challenge marchers by forming lines across downtown streets blocking the path of the march.
[Pictured above: shields battered from the "Battle on Oak Street" earlier in the day take the lead on San Pablo Avenue as the march heads north away from City Hall]
Marchers turned away from the first police line on 20th Street and Telegraph and headed into the Uptown Apartments park/plaza area, the site Occupy Oakland claimed as a new home on November 19th. Police kettled the march by closing off all routes out of the park area and then declared an illegal assembly. At the corner of Rashida Muhammad and 19th Streets, police directed tear gas and flash grenades at a group of people who came forward to the edge of the crowd with one of the corrugated metal shields. Police then rushed the group and grabbed the shield. An announcement was made from a police loudspeaker that marchers could disperse southbound on Telegraph, but there was no obvious way to get there. The police had lines on William Street and 19th Street and the park in the middle had been re-fenced since occupiers tore it down on November 19th. A section of fencing on the end of the park by the Champions for Humanity statues was torn down so that marchers could make their way to Telegraph Avenue.
Marchers headed up Telegraph away from downtown. As the marched crossed 27th Street a line of about 50 police formed across Telegraph, following the march until marchers turned right on 28th Street. Marchers again turned right on Broadway, heading back towards downtown. As the last group of marchers crossed 24th Street, police moved in and formed lines across Broadway behind and in front of the march, trapping 500 hundred or more people on the 2300 block of Broadway, including passers-by. Police immediately announced over loudspeakers that everyone on the block was under arrest, that three prior orders to disperse had been given, and that marchers were to submit to arrest. Marchers bunched up in the middle of the block, about 50 years from the police lines on either side. The police line at 24th and Broadway began to put on their gas masks, indicating that they were anticipating possible or probably use of more tear gas on kettled marchers. A dozen journalists and marchers stood and watched from the top of the stairs at the entrance to the Downtown Oakland YMCA. WIthin minutes another dozen or two joined them at the main entrance to the YMCA. Apparently, those at the front doors pleaded with YMCA workers to let them in to escape the police entrapment. Once YMCA employees opened the doors dozens and dozens of people rushed up the stairs into the building, many of them successfully finding escape routes to back and side exits. Others were not so fortunate and remained in the building as police from the 24th Street line rushed up the stairs and arrested those they could find inside. A small group of 30-50 on the sidewalk on the west side of the street were allowed to leave, but everyone else on the block and inside of the YMCA was arrested.
In all, over 300 marchers were arrested in the YMCA kettle, along with several journalists, including one from Indybay, and several unlucky passers-by. It was one of, if not the, largest number of arrests at one time in the history of the city of Oakland. While the police moved in to kettle the march just before 6:30pm, police were still transporting arrestees from the scene past midnight. Reports of inhumane overcrowding and deplorable conditions at Santa Rita jail continue to surface. Many of those arrested were not booked for over twenty-four hours. A large number of arrestees were held and then never booked at all before they were released. To date, only about a dozen people have been charged with anything related to arrests on January 28th.
Occupy Oakland Move-In Day - Battle on Oak Street, 1/28/12: photos
Occupy Oakland Move-In Day - Henry J Plan A, 1/28/12: photos
Occupy Oakland Move-In Day and Rise Up Festival Press Conference, 1/25/12: video & photos
Occupy Oakland Move-In Day Mural on San Pablo Ave
Move-In Day Assembly
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View from opposite end of Broadway of police squeezing main group of arrestees into street-level YMCA building nook