Oakland Burning

Occupy Protests Turn Violent

January 30, 2012

Police in Oakland arrested roughly 400 members of the Occupy movement Sunday after a series of violent clashes between the protesters, who burned an American flag and vandalized city hall.

The protests, which injured three police officers and at least one activist, turned violent after riot police attempted to remove the Occupy members from an empty downtown convention hall where they had attempted to set up a new headquarters.

MSNBC reports:

Police said a group of protesters burned an American flag in front of City Hall, then entered the building and destroyed a vending machine, light fixtures and a historic scale model of the edifice. The city's 911 emergency system was overwhelmed during the disturbances.

Oakland officials on Sunday were inspecting damage inside City Hall that was caused by about 50 Occupy protesters who broke in and smashed glass display cases, spray-painted graffiti, and burned the U.S. and California flags.

The break-in on Saturday was the culmination of a day of clashes between protesters and police. At least 300 people were arrested on charges ranging from vandalism and failure to disperse.

At least three officers and one protester were injured.

[Oakland Mayor Jean] Quan said Occupy protesters have caused an estimated $2 million in damages from vandalism since October. She said the cost to the city related to the Occupy Oakland protests is pegged at about $5 million dollars.