More Than 400 Occupy Protesters Arrested in Oakland
At least 400 Occupy protesters were arrested in Oakland after they fought with the police, who in turn fired tear gas and bean bag projectiles. This is the largest number of arrests made in a single day since protests started last year.
Authorities said that the official number of arrests was between 200 and 300 but an Oakland emergency operations center released a statement that raised the number to more than 400. It added that the Oakland Police would announce a more precise number later on Sunday.
Riot police battled with the demonstrators, which resulted to three officers and a protester injured. It started in the afternoon when the activists wanted to take over a downtown convention center. The battles lasted into the night.
Oakland became the flashpoint of the national Occupy protests against economic inequality, which began last year in New York. It spread to several cities across the United States. Most protests have been peaceful and it sparked national debate regarding how the country’s wealth is held by the richest 1 percent of the population. President Obama is trying to take advantage of the situation by proposing higher taxes on millionaires.
Protesters focused on Oakland after former Marine Scott Olsen was injured during a protest in October. He was supposedly hit in the head by a tear gas canister but authorities never issued an official statement with regards to the incident.