Last Tuesday night the Oakland Police Department cleared hundreds of “Occupy Oakland” protesters from Frank Ogawa Plaza near City Hall. The city argued that conditions in the plaza were unsafe and unsanitary from prolonged occupation. The protesters argued that they had always been peaceful, and that they were open to negotiation. Once no agreement was reached the police moved in late at night. The methods used by the police have since garnered criticism, as noted by Jon Stewart in the video to the left.
As Stewart illustrates, the police fired bean bags and tear gas canisters at the protesters in order clear the area. Some protesters have also argued the police used flash bang grenades and rubber bullets, a charge the Oakland Police Department has denied. Over 100 people were arrested, and two officers were hurt in the clashes along with unkown number protesters. One protester, who also was an Iraq War Veteran, was placed in the intensive care unit in serious condition after suffering head trauma in the middle of the chaos.
Stewart argues that the police should have negotiated to allow the protesters to move to a different location while the plaza was cleaned. If the true purpose of the police raid was to create a safer environment, it seems that their actions instead served to endanger many in the area.