Updated: Oakland Police Attempt to Clear 14th and Broadway Area

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Tuesday May 01, 2012 - 10:56:00 PM

Oakland police have ordered a large crowd of demonstrators to clear the area near 14th and Broadway tonight. 

More than a thousand activists converged in Frank Ogawa Plaza shortly before 7 p.m. and jubilant demonstrators were waving flags, playing drums, making speeches and dancing in the streets earlier this evening. 

Police declared the gathering an unlawful assembly and issued the order to disperse at around 8:40 p.m. as officers in riot gear moved in on the crowds. 

As of 7 p.m. at least 10 protesters had been arrested during the day of demonstrations, according to police Sgt. Jeff Thomason. 

Police Chief Howard Jordan said earlier today that the demonstrators were arrested for offenses ranging from vandalism to resisting arrest. 

Several people were arrested in a confrontation between police and protesters near 14th Street and Broadway shortly after noon today. 

Howard said the confrontation began when protesters started throwing objects at officers who were trying to make arrests and disperse the crowd.  

Officers then "deployed a small amount of gas" to disperse the crowd, Jordan said. He did not specify whether it was tear gas.  

He said Oakland police called in mutual aid at 9 a.m. because they observed that there were "multiple, simultaneous events" that were stretching the department's resources thin.  

The agencies providing the aid include the Hayward, Fremont, Union City and Newark police departments, the California Highway Patrol and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.  

BART officials said this evening that the 14th Street entrance to the Oakland City Center station was closed because of police activity but the other entrances remain open.