Occupy Oakland protesters are furious with city authorities after police used tear gas in attempt to during disperse crowds during a march Tuesday night.
Brawls broke out between protesters and police in the midst of a march intended to regain access to to Frank Ogawa plaza, where protesters previously camped out but vacated before the morning.
More than 1,000 people flooded the streets Tuesday, marching towards city hall and intent on reclaiming the park, which police had cleared out. Officers reportedly fired bean bags and tear gas as a means of evacuating the grounds where protesters had been camped out. As tensions heightened throughout the day, scuffles broke out and police again began using tear gas. At least 85 people have been arrested in the encounter for camping or assembling without a permit.
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“I’m hoping our city government comes to their senses and stops dealing with us like a fascist state,” protestor Samsarah Morgan told Reuters.
City officials reported the park was in poor conditions by the end of the protest’s second week, rife with graffiti, rodents and litter. Authorities also reported sexual assault and a severe beating at Frank Ogawa Plaza. But city spokeswoman Karen Boyd said once the park is cleaned, Oakland will reopen access to protesters for daytime use.
Protests continue to spread through the country, initially inspired by New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement. Last week Chicago police officers arrested about 130 protesters in the city’s Grant Park, the setting for President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory speech.
“Look, people are frustrated,” Obama told Jay Leno on the Tonight Show Tuesday. “And that frustration expresses itself in a lot of different ways. It expressed itself in the Tea Party, it’s expressing itself in Occupy Wall Street. Everybody needs to understand that the American people feel that no one is looking out for them right now.”