Press Release: Update on Occupy Activities in Downtown Oakland – 4:30 pm

From Officer Johnna Watson, Oakland Police Department and Harry Hamilton, Oakland City Administrator’s Office
Saturday January 28, 2012 - 05:26:00 PM

Oakland--By 12 pm, a crowd of approximately 250 had gathered in Frank Ogawa Plaza for the Occupy rally. Just before 1:30 pm, the group started marching southbound on Broadway. As the group of approximately 450 marched, traffic disruptions occurred on downtown streets. At approximately 2:15 pm, some of the marchers entered the campus of Laney College. 

At 2:30 pm, marchers began tearing down perimeter fences around the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. At approximately 2:50 pm, the first dispersal order was given as the crowd began destroying construction equipment and fencing. 

Officers were pelted with bottles, metal pipe, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices and burning flares. Oakland Police Department deployed smoke and tear gas. 

By 4 pm, the bulk of the Occupy crowd of approximately 500 has returned to Frank Ogawa Plaza. 

As of this release, 19 protesters have been arrested. Most of the arrests were made on Oak Street when protesters ignored the dispersal order and assaulted officers. Three officers are confirmed to have been injured. 

Mutual aid has been requested. 

The City of Oakland welcomes peaceful forms of assembly and freedom of speech, but acts of violence, property destruction and overnight lodging will not be tolerated. The Oakland Police Department is also committed to facilitating peaceful forms of expression while protecting personal safety and property through ethical and constitutional policing. 

The City has developed a variety of communication channels to keep the business community and the public informed of developments as they occur. This may include street closures or impacts to public transit. We encourage you to use the following: 

● We will post regular information updates on our web site: www.oaklandnet.com. 

● Oakland Police Department will distribute text/SMS and email alerts via Nixle public safety notification system. Visit www.nixle.com to register for these updates. 

● To receive alerts by email or wireless device, subscribe to the City of Oakland’s email/text updates system by entering your email address in the “Email Updates” section on the City’s home page, www.oaklandnet.com. If you would like to receive wireless alerts via mobile phone, be sure to check the “Send Wireless Alerts to this address” box and enter your mobile number and carrier. Once you’ve saved your subscriber preferences, be sure to select “Emergency Alerts for Merchants” or “Emergency Alerts for Residents.” 

● If you don’t have a computer, call 211 for information and/or updates. 

● To report any tips on Occupy activity, call the Oakland Police Department’s non-emergency line at (510) 777-3333 or send an email to opdtipline@gmail.com.