Occupy Oakland Nov. 2 General Strike


A protester waves flags over a flaming barricade before riot police disbanded the protesters with tear gas during Nov. 2 General strike at Occupy Oakland (Mike Alfieri/DVC Inquirer)

Danielle Barcena



Police tear gassed and arrested late night group of violent protesters who started fires, but majority of the General Strike remained peaceful.

“The City of Oakland facilitated a long day of primarily peaceful protests with some isolated incidents of violence and vandalism. A series of demonstrations, teach-ins, and marches throughout the City started at 9 am and continued until well past midnight,” stated a City of Oakland Press Release.

Around 2:00 pm, a group of protesters dressed in black with covered faces that identified themselves as Anarchists, led a march that quickly broke down into vandalism and violence.

The vandals broke multiple windows and spray painted local businesses and banks.  Whole Foods and Bank of America sustained some of the more serious damage.

Violence erupted when peaceful protesters tried to restrain the vandals in an attempt to keep the protest peaceful and prevent a repeat of last Tuesday’s violence.  The anarchists overpowered and outnumbered peaceful protesters and continued their vandalism until the march returned to Frank H. Ogawa Plaza at around 3:30 pm.

The main march to the port of Oakland began at 4:00 pm with multiple buses shuttling protestors to the port.  The majority of people left from the plaza on foot at 5:00 pm.  An estimated 7,000 to 10,000 people marched to the port.

The protest at the port was peaceful and positive.  People staged picket lines at the berths, but allowed long shore workers to exit the port at the end of their shifts. Operations at the port were shut down due to the occupation, but were reopened for business at 9:00 am Wednesday morning.

A majority of protesters left the port by 9:00 pm. At approximately 11:00 pm the anarchist group led another march began down Broadway, with protesters moving into the Traveler’s Aid building on 16th street.  A few dozen protesters entered the vacant building and proceeded to graffiti the walls.

“The Oakland Police Department responded to a late-night call that protesters had broken into and occupied a downtown building and set several fires,” according to the departments press release.

Upon receiving the news of the pending police arrival, the protestors constructed barricades at both entrances to 16th street using dumpsters, wooden pallets, and other materials.  Once police arrived, the protestors set the barricades on fire, provoking police confrontation.

An order to disperse was announced by police, announcing the protest an unlawful assembly. Police allowed time for protestors to disperse, then shut off the lights and began firing tear gas and flash-bang grenades into the remaining crowd, sending protestors running down Broadway and 16th street.  The riot cops eventually pushed the crowd back into the plaza where again tear gas and bean bag projectiles were deployed to scatter the protestors.

Over 80 people were arrested during the protests after midnight.


Mike Alfieri contributed to this article.