Over 300 Occupy Oakland protestors were arrested Saturday, after police witnessed numerous acts of vandalism. Protestors threw rocks and bottles at police, who responded by firing tear gas and smoke to break up the crowd (video below).
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said many protesters forced their way into City Hall, where they burned flags, broke an electrical box and damaged several art structures, including a recycled art exhibit created by children.
Mayor Quan blamed the destruction on a splinter group within Occupy Oakland: “This is not a situation where we had 1,000 peaceful people and a few violent people. If you look at what’s happening today in terms of destructing property, throwing at and charging the police, it’s almost like they are begging for attention and hoping that the police will make an error.”
The entire Occupy Oakland protest was estimated to be between 1000 and 2000 people.