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"Occupy Oakland Shuts Down Port", Clashes with Police Occur Late Last Night

By       Message Dave Lefcourt     Permalink
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opednews.com Headlined to H2 11/3/11

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Yesterday, Occupy Oakland shut down the nations 5th busiest port as a port spokesman acknowledged, "operations had effectively been shut down".

Some 3,000 protesters marched from downtown Oakland to the port and by 5:00 P.M. local time their presence at the port gates brought the shutdown.

As to the call for a "general strike" in Oakland this same day, reports indicated some 360 Oakland teachers didn't show up for work or about 18% of the city's 2,000 teachers.

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City workers were permitted to use vacation time or other paid leave to join the protest and some 5% took the day off.

Three bank branches in the immediate down town area of the protests were closed but there were no reports of other businesses closing for the day.

Late in the evening and into the early morning hours demonstrators entered a nearby vacant building adjacent to their encampment and declared they intended to occupy it. This action and their continued presence in the streets outside the newly occupied building brought hundreds of police in riot gear and proceeded to fire tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters. A few demonstrators hurled back some of the canisters at the police with some protesters shouting, "This was peaceful until you came", as police charged toward the protesters with batons and more tear gas forcing them back within their encampment area. Some 60 arrests of protesters were reported.

In assessing yesterday's protest events in Oakland from afar, it seems the goal of shutting down the port's operations was a successful action. As to the general strike called for, it appears to have been a partial success but it didn't bring the city's commerce to a halt.

With regard to the protesters clashes with police last night, after a day of mostly peaceful protests, it appears an ongoing tension or an uneasy truce remains between them. A policeman at the scene last night was reported to have said, "Police had no plans to clear the encampment for the moment".

As for Occupy Oakland it is unknown at this time what further actions they are planning.

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