Occupy Oakland Marks Anniversary of Police Attack on OO Encampment

Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
Occupy Oakland protesters gather in Frank Ogawa Plaza after a march in Oakland, Calif. on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. (Jane Tyska/Oakland Trbune Staff)
Below are two articles and associated pictures showing the Occupy Oakland return to the Frank Ogawa Plaza one year after the raid on the encampment.  The Occupied Oakland Tribune has an excellent article on the police attack on Occupy and its meaning, A Year Ago Today Scott Olsen Fell and A Reign of Terror Began.

Occupy Oakland marks teardown anniversary

By Justin Berton, Kevin Fagan and Jill Tucker
SF Gate, October 26, 2012
 
More than 150 Occupy Oakland activists gathered downtown Thursday to mark the anniversary of the dismantlement of their encampment with chalk drawings, speeches and an evening march, and though anger flared at times they managed to maintain a basic harmony between those calling for peace and those who don’t mind violence.
 
Several, particularly those wearing Black Bloc-style dark clothing and masks, said they would defy police by camping overnight in front of City Hall, but that didn’t happen.
 
City officials had said nobody would be allowed to camp in Frank Ogawa Plaza, the spread of brick, concrete and grass in front of Oakland City Hall.
 
Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
Scott Olsen, left, marches with Occupy Oakland protesters in Oakland, Calif. on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Olsen was injured by a projectile fired by an Oakland police officer during an Occupy protest on Oct. 25, 2011. (Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune Staff)
 
Vet tries to keep group going
 
One year ago Thursday, police cleared the Occupy Oakland encampment of about 150 tents in the plaza and a tear-gas-filled riot followed, resulting in injuries and international headlines.
 
The person most seriously injured in that riot – Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen, who was hit in the head by a projectile beanbag – was in front of City Hall again Thursday, saying he wanted to help keep the Occupy movement going and that he intended to camp out in the plaza.
 
Plans for Thursday had been colored by a deepening division between two ideologies in the Occupy movement, which has from its beginning been leaderless by design.
 
On one side are moderates who say they are fed up by window-smashing and other violence that erupted at several protests over the past year. They say they want Occupy’s message to go back to its original focus on economic inequities.
 
On the other side are anarchists who consider police and much of government corrupt and like using a “diversity of tactics,” which means they consider violence a viable form of protest.
 
The moderates outnumbered the extremists throughout the day.
 
Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
Occupy Oakland demonstrators march past the Alameda County Court House in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Occupy supporters commemorated the first anniversary when OPD raided the Occupy Oakland encampment in the wee hours of the morning of October 25, 2011. (Ray Chavez/Oakland Tribune Staff)
 
Ron Streitz, 64, of Oakland said the mood at the gathering reminded him of the Occupy movement when it began in early October 2011 and included a wide range of people, from office workers to college students and the homeless. That was before moderate voices were marginalized.
 
“I think that was the intention – to have a gathering that is true to the spirit of Occupy,” Streitz said.
 
Demonstrators ask a masked man to leave Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza after he made white supremacist comments during the first anniversary of the dismantling of the group's camp. Photo: Mathew Sumner, Special To The Chronicle / SF
Demonstrators ask a masked man to leave Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza after he made white supremacist comments during the first anniversary of the dismantling of the group’s camp. Photo: Mathew Sumner, Special To The Chronicle / SF
 
About 20 people dressed as Black Blockers and carrying homemade shields said if any violence erupted, it would be the fault of the police.
 
“I hope the police will let us be peaceful,” said one young man wearing a bandanna, standing next to a similarly garbed friend who carried a shield bearing the letters “FTP,” meaning “F- the Police.” Like most Black Blockers, he would not give his name.
 
Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
An Occupy Oakland demonstrator records video as Oakland Police officers form a line to prevent protesters from getting to the OPD headquarters at Broadway and 7th in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Occupy supporters commemorated the first anniversary when OPD raided the Occupy Oakland encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza on October 25, 2011. (Ray Chavez/Oakland Tribune Staff)
 
At 7 p.m., the crowd set off on a two-hour march throughout downtown, stopping briefly at police headquarters at Eighth and Washington streets. There, marcher Dina Cook, 37, of Oakland challenged others to stop shouting angrily at police. She was surrounded by about a half dozen protesters who screamed at her to “Shut up, bitch.” Other demonstrators separated them.
 
“I am trying to represent a peaceful movement, and I’m not scared to tell these people who aren’t even from here to stop messing with the cops,” Cook said shortly afterward. “They don’t represent our group. They’re just trying to get on TV.”
 
Man arrested for rocks
 
At least 200 police remained alongside the crowd throughout the evening as the march ended up back at the plaza, and then dissipated by Friday morning. Although authorities said two men were arrested – one on suspicion of hitting an officer with a rock and another for allegedly obstructing an officer and possessing drugs – there was there were no physical confrontations with police.

Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza

Oakland Police officers follow Occupy Oakland demonstrators as they march through the streets of downtown Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Occupy supporters commemorated the first anniversary when OPD raided the Occupy Oakland encampment in the wee hours of the morning of October 25, 2011. (Ray Chavez/Oakland Tribune Staff)
 
“We tried to facilitate this march throughout the downtown area,” said Assistant Chief Anthony Toribio.
 
San Francisco Chronicle staff writers Matthai Kuruvila and Carolyn Jones contributed to this report.
 
Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
Demonstrator Albert Hakimz, left, of Oakland, displays his banners as they get ready for a general assembly at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Occupy supporters commemorate the first anniversary when Oakland police raided the Occupy Oakland encampment in the wee hours of the morning of October 25, 2011. (Ray Chavez/Oakland Tribune Staff)

Occupy Oakland anniversary protest mostly peaceful

By Kristin J. Bender and Paul T. Rosynsky
Oakland Tribune, October 26, 2012
 
Hundreds of protesters gathered peacefully Thursday night to mark the anniversary of Occupy Oakland, marching for miles through the city’s downtown before reconvening at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza to reminisce over the past year.
 
Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
Occupy Oakland demonstrators mingle before a general assembly at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Occupy supporters commemorate the first anniversary when Oakland police raided the Occupy Oakland encampment in the wee hours of the morning of October 25, 2011. (Ray Chavez/Oakland Tribune Staff)
 
Friday morning, there was no sign of the vandalism on downtown streets that accompanied protests a year ago, and merchants who had braced for the worst began removing boards from store windows.
 
Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
Occupy Oakland demonstrators march past the Alameda County Court House in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Occupy supporters commemorated the first anniversary when OPD raided the Occupy Oakland encampment in the wee hours of the morning of October 25, 2011. (Ray Chavez/Oakland Tribune Staff)
 
At one point during Thursday’s march, protesters faced off against dozens of officers clad in riot gear outside Oakland police headquarters, but the marchers quickly peeled off and headed back to the plaza. Two arrests were made, including one person arrested on suspicion of throwing a rock at officers, but the rally, marking the anniversary of a police raid on the original Occupy encampment at Ogawa Plaza, was otherwise uneventful.
 
Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
Occupy Oakland supporters march along Broadway in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Supporters gathered to mark the one-year anniversary of the first police raid on the Occupy encampment on the lawn at Frank Ogawa Plaza. (Anda Chu/Oakland Tribune Staff)
Starting at 7 p.m., as many as 200 people snaked their way through downtown Oakland, to Lake Merritt, into Chinatown and then to the police department offices. The march took protesters on a walking tour of the sites of previous clashes between Occupy members and police.
 
By 9 p.m., marchers were back at the plaza, had a drum circle going and were watching a slideshow projected onto a sheet of photos of past protests. By 11 p.m., the crowd had dwindled to about 30 people, listening to music and milling about the plaza.
 
Throughout the earlier activity, police kept close tabs on the crowd with four vans of officers never veering far from marchers, with at least 15 officers walking alongside the group.
 
Police blocked roads so the crowd could pass safely and the march, at points, seemed celebratory, with a marcher broadcasting the score of the Giants World Series game over a loudspeaker.
 
Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
Occupy Oakland protesters gather for a rally in Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, Calif. on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. (Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune Staff)
 
One person was arrested about 9:10 p.m., with officers alleging that he threw a rock at them during the march. The man, identified 29-year-old Alexander Loutsis of Manteca, was arrested at Ogawa Plaza after an incident officers said occurred about 40 minutes earlier, as marchers were passing the intersection of 8th Street and Broadway. The rock struck an officer in the chest, but he was not hurt, police said. The man was wearing a mask at the time, police said.
 
Loutsis, who was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, denied throwing the rock. He told police he was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and was attending technical school in Lathrop on the G.I. Bill.
 
Another arrest was made about 11 p.m., when a man was taken into custody on suspicion of obstructing an officer and possession of a cocaine-based narcotic, police said. His name was not immediately released.
 
Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
An Occupy Oakland demonstrator carries emergency items as they gather at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Occupy supporters commemorate the first anniversary when Oakland police raided the Occupy Oakland encampment in the wee hours of the morning of October 25, 2011. (Ray Chavez/Oakland Tribune Staff)
 
The two arrests followed a day of rallies, speeches and a community meal in Frank Ogawa Plaza, with dozens of police and private security guards watching protesters’ every move. Oakland police sent out several messages saying violence would not be tolerated during the day’s events.
 
After the protest, Mayor Jean Quan said police acted professionally and helped keep the march peaceful. “I’m pleased that the vast majority of the protesters remained peaceful as well,” Quan said. “Tonight shows how far we’ve all come since last year and how much we’ve learned as we worked together to improve public safety in general.”
 
Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
Occupy Oakland protesters watch a slide show of last year’s protest pictures in Frank Ogawa Plaza after a march in Oakland, Calif. on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Occupy protesters held a rally and march to mark the first anniversary of the Oakland Police Department’s raid on the Occupy Oakland encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza on Oct. 25, 2011. The march was peaceful and only one arrest was made. (Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune Staff)
 
Although the gathering and march were peaceful, anti-police chants were heard loud and clear.
In the crowd was Scott Thomas Olsen, a young veteran who last year was struck in the head with a tear-gas canister during protests following the Oct. 25, 2011, raid on the camp. Olsen was being pushed in a wheelchair stemming from an accident unrelated to his injury last year.
 
As the events began Thursday afternoon, Samsarah Morgan said she was in the plaza to celebrate the “rebirth” of the Occupy movement, while pointing out that she is not part of the “official” movement. She said her group condemned violence.
 
“We ask for peace tonight,” Morgan said.
 
Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
Occupy Oakland protesters march back to Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, Calif. on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. (Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune Staff)
 
Earlier this month, a flier was distributed downtown urging people to bring bats to stand up and “defend Oakland.” The flier said that people should plan to “beat the (expletive) out of anarchists and vandals” during the anniversary events.
 
The day, however, was mostly low key.
 
That was in stark contrast to one year ago when at least 200 police, many in riot gear, tore down an Occupy Oakland encampment of more than 100 tents in front of City Hall and arrested dozens of people. A smaller camp near the lake was also dismantled in the early morning hours of Oct. 25, 2011.
 
Occupy Oakland marks one year anniversary at Frank Ogawa Plaza
Occupy Oakland protester D.J. Occupy pretends to be arrested by a paper mache pig in Frank Ogawa Plaza after a march in Oakland, Calif. on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. (Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune Staff)
 
Those raids sparked a day of protests that continued into the early morning of Oct. 26, when as many as 1,000 people marched throughout downtown Oakland. The rally quickly turned violent, and police fired bean-bag rounds and tear gas to disperse protesters who sometimes threw bottles and rocks at officers. It was shortly after that Olsen, 24, of Daly City, was struck with the tear-gas canister.
 
That night, protesters set up a second encampment at Ogawa Plaza, which they named Oscar Grant Plaza, after Oscar Grant who was killed by BART police in 2009. The second camp at Frank Ogawa Plaza grew to several hundred tents before it was again dismantled by police on Nov. 14, 2011.
 
Since then, groups affiliated with Occupy have staged numerous protests and rallies throughout downtown Oakland, several of which led to broken windows, vandalism and mass arrests.
 
Occupy supporter Dafina Kuficha called the vandals cowards and blamed them for making people look at Occupy Oakland as a disjointed, violent movement.
 
“We are standing for positive change,” Kuficha said.