By 6:30 Wednesday morning, only about 10 protestors remained near Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza, the site of a clash between Occupy Oakland protesters and police that began Tuesday evening and carried late into the night, but more people were slowly trickling in.
That was down from the approximately 150 protestors who had remained near the plaza after midnight, but this number dwindled as the night wore on. “There was a small core of a couple dozen people coming and going at night,” said Bradley Judd, a homecare worker who was part of the protests on both days.
Protestors who remained at the site sat or stood behind the barricade throughout the night, as police officers in riot gear held their positions on the other side.
According to Carina Hull, a protester who remained at the site throughout the night, the scene was relatively peaceful once the majority of the crowd had left. “Some people approached the police and said, ‘We know some people became violent and acted inappropriately, and that is not what this movement is about,’” said Hull.
Police repeatedly attempted to disperse crowds last night as protestors kept regrouping and edging closer to the Frank Ogawa Plaza Tuesday night. Police used teargas on the crowd at least four times and fired bean bag pellets, and protesters threw bottles and rocks and pelted police officers with paint.
Estimates of the crowd’s size throughout the evening fluctuated from 500 to 1,000, as protesters began a march that wound from the downtown library to the city jail and then to City Center.
The confrontation followed the destruction of two Occupy Oakland camp sites in the early morning hours on Tuesday, during with the OPD, with the assistance of 16 other local law enforcement agencies, ordered the campers to disperse, arrested those who did not, and tore down the camp sites.
At a press conference Tuesday night, Oakland Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said that 97 people had been arrested following the morning raid, and another five during the protests Tuesday evening.
The plaza, which houses Oakland City Hall, had been barricaded early Tuesday night, and the BART exit located inside was cordoned off. Commuters were still able to enter and exit the 12th Street BART station through the other exits.
Early this morning, police officers began allowing city officials and employees of businesses around the plaza into the barricaded area.
As of 9:30 Wednesday morning, the Occupy Oakland Twitter feed was urging protesters to reconvene today at 6 pm, but the group’s website had not been updated with more information.
Oakland North will continue to follow this story.
You can see Oakland North’s complete coverage of Occupy Oakland here.