Occupy Oakland May Day Protest

Occupy Oakland called for a General Strike in downtown Oakland to celebrate May Day, the intentional workers holiday.  There were numerous actions throughout the day including striking ferry workers that shut down ferry service between San Francisco and the North Bay, Kaiser Permamente nurses walked out over ongoing contract disputes, Occupy SF protesters reoccupied an empty building on Turk St. in the City, and a large immigration themed march started at the Fruitvalle BART station and marched to Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland.

It was pretty mellow when I first got down to Frank Ogawa Plaza, people hanging out in the grass, painting signs, passing out fliers and what not, but then a large crowd of protesters came running down Broadway back towards the park with riot police in pursuit and it devolved into chaos in a matter of seconds!  Police were scuffling with a few people trying to make arrests and the crowd responded by throwing water bottles and paint at officers and the police fired back with flash grenades and tear gas.  I also had the distinct displeasure of watching a man get tazered right in front of me as 3 officers wrestled to subdue him.  That photo got the front cover of the SF Chronicle.  Read the article here: Thousands March in Oakland…

I also worked on a story with reporter Carolyn Said about the impact of the Occupy movement on local business.  We spoke with a few businesses that were still open in the area.  There was a mix of support and condemnation.  Most businesses were hurt by the protests over the last few months but a few of them said their business actually increased when the occupation of the park was going on and in return they publicly supported the movement which took them off the target list for property destruction.  You can read that article here: Oakland Businesses Shaken…

Protest action in and around Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland.  These photos are out of order because I wanted to show some of the more peaceful things that went on first as well as the clashes with police.

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