Occupy Oakland attempts to transform vacant public building into Community Center
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David Dougherty: Occupy Oakland staged a â€œmoving dayâ€ action on Saturday, January 28th as they attempted to occupy a vacant public building and convert it into a community center. Riot police moved in to violently repress and disperse what they said was a disorderly and illegal assembly, and at the end of the day between 300 and 500 people had been arrested. While the majority of marchers were peaceful, some demonstrators retaliated the crackdown by organizing behind improvised defense barricades and throwing objects back at police. Occupy Oakland member Mark Mason was present at Saturdayâ€
Mark Mason, Occupy Oakland: The police basically blocked off one of the streets and said itâ€
David Dougherty: The Oakland Police Department issued a statement saying that the order to disperse was issued â€œafter demonstrators began destroying construction equipment and fencingâ€ and that â€œofficers were pelted with bottles, metal pipe, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices, and burning flares.â€ The building targeted for the attempted occupation was the Henry Kaiser Convention Center, a public building that had been vacant for more than 6 years. Mark explains how in addition to looking for a new base of operations, the occupy movement had planned on establishing a community space where a variety of social services and creative venues would be offered to public.
Mark Mason: We have the Childrenâ€
David Dougherty: Occupy Oakland has insisted that it will continue efforts to occupy public spaces in spite of the cityâ€
Mark Mason: That sense of community is connected to the real world, thereâ€