OAKLAND -- Occupy Oakland demonstrators clashed all over downtown Oakland on Tuesday night with police who lobbed tear gas at least three times in futile attempts to fully disperse the more than 1,000 people who took to the streets after the early-morning raid of the movement's encampment.
The rolling protest came about 12 hours after hundreds of police from across the Bay Area rousted about 300 people from the two-week old camp at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. Tensions escalated after protesters vowed to return to the plaza, which was left with tents overturned and food, carpet, personal belongings and mounds of trash strewn on the lawn.
"We had to deploy gas to stop people from throwing rocks and bottles at police,"
Following the pre-dawn raid, about 500 protesters initially met at the main branch of the Oakland library at 4 p.m., chanting that they would "reclaim" what they now call Oscar Grant Plaza named for the unarmed man who was killed in 2009 by a BART police officer.
The demonstrators sparred with hundreds of police for more than six hours forcing police to close streets, reroute traffic and launch four rounds of bean bags into the crowd of protesters.
At one of the most tense moments
The number of protest injuries were not immediately known, but two officers were hurt when protesters splattered them with paint.
As of late Tuesday, the crowd had not dispersed and an earlier tweet by Occupy Oakland organizers gave locations where the group wanted people to congregate and urged demonstrators to "bringbottles."
Chief Jordan said 102 people were arrested Tuesday, the majority taken into custody before dawn. Many were taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and held on $10,000 bail each. Occupy Oakland organizers flooded the office of Mayor Jean Quan and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office with demands the protesters be cited and released. Those arrested included people from as far away as Florida and Illinois, a city official said. Police said the protesters would likely be out of jail by Wednesday.
On Tuesday evening, the group wound its way from the main branch of the Oakland Public Library to the city's jail and then to Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, which had been the epicenter of Occupy Oakland and the site of a tent city where about 300 people lived for two weeks.
"This movement seems to come from a much deeper place. It fills me with hope for the first time in years," said Garry Lambrev, a 30-year resident of Oakland, who said he visited the camp many times since it sprung up on Oct. 10.
Ordering the campers to leave with their belongings or risk arrest, before dawn Tuesday, at least 200 law enforcement officers from agencies across the Bay Area amassed around the plaza, moving in and overturning tents, ripping down cardboard signs, and within 30 minutes clearing out the occupiers.
Protesters tried to hold police off with firecrackers, a fire extinguisher, the Police Department's own barriers, metal Dumpsters, and even the City Hall Christmas wreath, police and protesters said. One man walked around carrying a giant shield he had fashioned out of duct tape.
One officer said that during the camp shutdown, protesters threw bottles, skillets, other kitchen utensils and rocks at police. They also "threw plates at us like Frisbees," the officer said. Police confirmed that protesters had set off a fire extinguisher and several low-level explosives to try to deter oncoming police.
Frank H. Ogawa Plaza will remain closed until public health and safety conditions can be improved; this includes debris, human waste and hazardous materials removal.
A spokesman for the National Lawyers Guild said two people suffered broken hands and one other was hospitalized with a head injury following the morning raid.
Occupy Oakland began on Oct. 10 in support of Occupy Wall Street and was originally in protest of widespread unemployment and what protesters called corporate greed.
Soon, the encampment grew to encompass support for state prison inmates who are on hunger strikes, housing rights, fair wages and opposition to social oppression.
With the growing list of causes, the "tent city" also grew to an estimated 300 campers, with hay bales everywhere and stalls for medical aid, food, art and community meetings. Along with the makeshift city came problems. City officials reported rats in the camp, fights, sexual harassment and assaults, drug use and violence against members of the media.
In an interview Tuesday, Quan -- who is in Washington, D.C., on city business -- said City Hall "has been trying to walk a fine line between free speech and public safety." But by the second week, she said, "it was apparent that neither the demonstrators nor the city could maintain safe or sanitary conditions, or control the ongoing vandalism."
Oakland wasn't the only place where police clashed with protesters Tuesday.
San Jose Police Officer Jose Garcia said that about 3:30 a.m., seven protesters were arrested; four were taken to jail on charges of illegal camping and three were cited and released for trespassing. This brings the total number of arrests in San Jose to about two dozen since Friday, the first day the city began arresting protesters.
According to police, Shaun O'Kelly, the 27-year-old out-of-work irrigation worker who scaled a 36-foot wall outside San Jose City Hall on Monday morning, spent the night up on a five-foot wide ledge. "I'd be afraid of rolling off," Garcia said.
When O'Kelly comes down, Garcia said, it's highly likely he will be arrested on illegal camping and trespassing charges.
Staff writers Thomas Peele and Lisa Fernandez contributed to this story.