Wednesday evening, Occupy Oakland protesters returned to Frank Ogawa Plaza for a relatively peaceful rally and march. Most of the anticipated action was in San Francisco, where a clash with police never materialized.
On Thursday morning, two tents were pitched on the square in from of City Hall at 14th Street and Broadway
9:20 a.m.: Two tents and fence `sculpture' on Oakland plaza
Two tents remain on the plaza after the previous night's rally. About a dozen people camped overnight, it appears without city intervention.
What's really attracting attention is a stack of cyclone fence, the remnants of a barrier that had been erected around the lawn area but was torn down by protesters. The stack of fencing resembles a sculpture and many people are walking up to take pictures of it. A police officer just went over to snap a shot as well.
The plaza is open, and one can wander around. Grass looks like a quilt of dead spots, yellow rectangles from where Occupy tents were located.
One police car is parked along the street and an officer was citing someone for being illegally parked.
Thursday, 9 a.m.: Occupy SF returns to business as usual, but still on alert
A man had dropped by around 7:30 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts, as often happens in the morning. Nic Freedman was facilitating the trickle of protesters stopping by to get caffeinated.
"Other people are calling it a victory. I think that a victory would require making progress. But last night was very important because it showed the world that we have hundreds of people willing to come out and risk arrest to show the police that this camp represents us"
The camp had expected police in riot gear to surround them.
"I think the amount of people that were here made the police think they would get a lot of resistance," said Freedman, who has lived in the city for five months and is from Washington State.
"I know the police will be back. We've won the battle. The war is not over. The powers that be see us as a threat, and we are."
No one thought it would get crazy if the cops showed up, he said.
"San Francisco is not Oakland. We were all ready for gas," he said, pulling out a bandanna and earplugs from his jean pockets, "but we didn't really expect it to go down like it did over there."
"Here, the police would push at us and we would be a wall, but in Oakland the police would push and the protesters would push back. We're drawing from different crowds here. The people who are out of towners here are drawn by the legacy of peace and love. People in Oakland are more prepared for things to get sticky.
12:25 a.m.: Time to head home
The somewhat smaller crowd returned to 14th & Broadway/Frank Ogawa Plaza, with most just quietly milling around. The crowd then started to dissipate. Among those on hand late was MC Hammer, who had a message for the masses on Twitter, "We're here 14th & Broadway ... peacefully assembled."
11:18 p.m.: Protesters taunt BART
The crowd moved past police at 14th Street and Broadway without incident, chanting "Our Streets!" as they headed toward 15th. But once they reached 19th, some protesters tried to enter the 19th Street BART station, chanting "Don't Shoot Me!" "Don't Shoot Me!"
11:11 p.m.: Crowd taunting riot police
The crowd is back on Broadway headed toward Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. A large contingent of riot police are lined up at 12th Street. The crowd is moving toward the police, and some are taunting the officers.
11:03 p.m.: More chants
Some protesters are chanting "Bay Bridge," as the crowd moved up Clay Street toward the federal building. Then the protesters turned from Clay onto 9th in what seemed to be an attempt to outflank police. They appear headed back to Ogawa Plaza. There is no property damage along the route.
10:55 p.m.: Protesters shout "freedom for all"
Protesters stop at North County Jail, shouting "freedom for all," and are now heading toward the federal building. BART has just announced that trains will not stop at the Embarcadero Station and that 12th Street station is open, but the Ogawa Plaza entrance is closed.
10:48 p.m. :Protesters chant "Oscar Grant!" "Oscar Grant!"
Some protesters are trying to climb the scaffolding near the Marriott on 10th Street and Broadway. Some protesters began changing, "Oscar Grant!" "Oscar Grant!" No announcement yet from BART about what it plans to do with its train service. The protesters have reached Seventh and Washington near the police station. Several dozen officers in riot gear have come out the front door.
10:45 p.m. : Crowd marching down Broadway
The crowd of protesters is moving rapidly down Broadway on their way to the Oakland police station. A line of motorcycle officers is nearby. The crowd has now stopped at 10th Street and appear to be trying to figure out what to do next. Both anarchist and American flags can be seen throughout the crowd.
10:30 p.m.: Protesters blocked from getting into BART station
A crowd of protesters has taken over the intersection of 14th and Broadway, upset that they can't get into the 12th Street BART station. Many were trying to get to San Francisco to support colleagues at Occupy San Francisco. So far, thought, the crowd is peaceful.
10:20 p.m.: Protesters move toward BART station
A group of protesters, many carrying black anarchist flags, are moving toward the BART station, on their way to join colleagues at Occupy San Francisco in Justin Herman Plaza.
10:10 p.m.: Plans for a strike supported by protesters
A vote among protesters to try to organize a general strike of the city next Wednesday received 96.9 percent approval, a protest leader announced on a microphone in the amphitheater at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. People chanted "Strike! Strike! Strike!" before beginning to disperse, some of them dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" that was playing on the amplifier. Another person smoking a joint walked past shouting "Occupy Tokeland."
9:53 p.m.: Mayor, police chief willing to meet with protesters:
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan told a media gathering she and Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan are willing to meet with protesters but must first figure out who the leaders of the protests are. She also confirmed six to seven injuries to protesters on Tuesday night. Police are on standby. The park is slated to close at 10 p.m., but Quan declined to say if the group would have to leave. She said she is considering plans on a day-to-day basis. She said police were not on the scene Wednesday, because the dynamics of the gathering were different.
9:25 p.m.: Protesters calling for a strike next week
An estimated 2,000 protesters are on hand, and they're discussing the mechanics for a strike on the city next Wednesday. Protest leaders are trying to galvanize unions, students and businesses into taking part. Ideally, protesters want students to skip school, businesses to shut down and hundreds of thousands of citizens to mobilize at the City Center.
8:45 p.m.: Police starting to organize
Police appear to be staging together several blocks away from the protesters. They're using a garage at the Clorox Building at 1221 Broadway. Helicopters continue to circle overhead. Word is circulating through the crowd that some police action may occur at some point, perhaps at 10 p.m. when Frank H. Ogawa Plaza closes. Police have taken no action so far. The first tent has gone up at the plaza, erected by a protester who is using a black bandanna as a flag.
7:54 p.m.: A strike?
Protesters are calling for a general strike in the city of Oakland on Thursday and are telling people to gather at 5 p.m. in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. They say their hope is to shut down the city. They're telling businesses to close their shops and will be going into businesses to promote the idea. Protesters say they are trying to mobilize unions and turn this into a strike movement.
7:37 p.m.: Protesters chanting "Our Park":
Still no police. The bulk of the crowd, estimated to be 1,000 protesters, are still on the lawn and chanting "Our Park."
7:20 p.m.: Fence is down; OccupySF campers requesting support
Protesters ripped down the fence around the lawn at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. Five helicopters also have been hovering above the Oakland skyline. Occupy Oakland organizers say they are getting reports that San Francisco police have confirmed they will raid Occupy San Francisco tonight and San Francisco campers are requesting nonviolent support
6:30 p.m.: Protesters arguing, police still absent
Protesters continue to argue back and forth, and two bandana-masked protesters jumped a blocked-off fence and ran across the plaza. A few protesters have pushed open a section of gate. The fence was pushed away and put back in place as arguments continue. Still no police present.
6:26 p.m.: Crowd is growing near the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Observers say the crowd near the amphitheatre in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza has grown to at least 1,000 people, and a person addressing the crowd told protesters that the Occupy Wall Street movement is donating $25,000 to the Occupy Oakland movement.
6:16 p.m.: Protesters starting to cause commotion
A few protesters are kicking and shoving at the fence around Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, and other protesters are scuffling with them, trying to block them and calm them down. No police are present
5:45 p.m.: Demonstrators starting to gather again, people buying gas masks
Demonstrators are slowly gathering again at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, and a man with a bullhorn is rehashing their rallying points as they move closer to the 6 p.m. scheduled rally. Once again, they are protesting the disparity in the sharing of American wealth. Also, about 15 people were seen in a military surplus store buying gas masks in preparation for Wednesday evening's rally.
5:39 p.m. ACLU, National Lawyers' Guild want investigation into use of force
The American Civil Liberties Union and National Lawyers' Guild jointly sent a public records request to the Oakland Police Department seeing an immediate release about their use of force during demonstrations Tuesday. The ACLU and NLG are calling for an end to excessive police force and want a full investigation.
5:11 p.m. Tents removed, but grass is ruined
The grass is getting ugly at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, but some of the tents have been removed. The lawn is now a mix of yellow and brown and is being heavily trodden upon. Hay and mud are also strewed on what once was green lawn. Also, overturned tents from the encampment, garbage and personal belongings have been taken to storage in a city warehouse.
5:08 p.m. Protesters returning after barriers taken down
Police are removing portable metal barriers from around part of Frank Ogawa Plaza, but about 200 protesters returned quickly. They pumped fists in the air and are vowing to occupy the plaza again.
Contributions from Josh Richman, Matt Krupnick, Ray Chavez, Sean Maher, Hannah Dreier and Robert Salonga and Kristopher Skinner.