Tuesday’s May Day rally in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza adjacent to City Hall attracted about 400 demonstrators by midday. They were there to hear speakers and demand a more equitable economic system. Many in attendance are Occupy Movement supporters.
The mostly peaceful protestors were in violation of stay-away orders which were issued by a judge in response to the disruptive protests held in January by the Occupiers. By the end of the day at least nine people had been arrested for defying those orders, interfering with officers, and failing to disperse.
The first four arrests came after noon when a small group of unruly protestors began throwing objects at the police, and attacking them corrugated metal shields as the police tried to detain one of the protestors.
The police said that “small amounts of gas” were used three times during the confrontation “to disperse the specific small groups of people who were committing violent acts.” The attacks on police included covering one officer with yellow paint, kicking him in the ribs, and then throwing a metal paint container at him.
Later in the afternoon, at about 2pm demonstrators once again tried to prevent police from arresting a few protestors and by 2:40pm the rally was declared an illegal assembly. Five additional arrests soon followed.
Other vandalism was committed, including an attack on a local CBS news van that had its windshield shattered and tires slashed. A police van was also attacked by the violent protestors.
The bulk of the rally was scheduled to begin at 6pm with an estimated 5,000 people expected to attend. A spokesman said that reinforcements of additional police from other departments would be called in to provide assistance to the Oakland police force to contain the crowd and prevent further outbreaks of violence.