On Wednesday morning, city workers had fenced off the lawn at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland. The previous night, 1,000 protesters clashed with police after two Occupy Oakland encampments in the plaza were dismantled earlier in the day. After a calm Wednesday, protesters returned in the evening and tore down the fence.
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 motorcylce 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 bandana 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 Lawers' 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.
10:35 a.m. Library director kept main library open during protests
During the Tuesday afternoon rally, as about 500 people gathered outside the city's main library at 14th and Madison streets, organizers announced that police "called the library in anticipation of our gathering and asked them to shut it down. They said no because they know what side they are on.'"
The crowd exploded into cheers. On Wednesday morning, library director Carmen Martinez said the city had supported her decision to keep the library open.
In the early afternoon Tuesday, hours before the protest arrived at the library steps, City Administrator Deanna Santana called Martinez and asked how she wanted to handle the situation, Martinez said.
"I said that we are a symbol of civil society for a lot of groups, including this one, and the folks who protested against the libraries budget cuts, and we will remain open as along as service can be continued without disruption," Martinez said. "Deanna said she understood and respected that."
Police also called to ask if the library needed any help or backup, Martinez said, but she declined.
At about 5 p.m., however, with the crowd already shutting down an entire block of 14th Street, Santana called back with information that a second group was on its way and could make it impossible for library staff to leave, Martinez said, so the library ended up closing a half-hour early.
Nonetheless, Martinez said, the library remains "a symbol of gathering for 1st Amendment issues. We welcome everyone unconditionally."
10:10 a.m. Plaza fenced off
A 6-foot chain-link fence is being put up by workers around Frank Ogawa Plaza, where the tent city was dismantled yesterday by police. A red sign on the fence reads "Please Keep Out of Planting Area".
8:25 a.m. Calm returns to Frank Ogawa Plaza
The protest seems to be dispersing, not growing. Some of the protesters said earlier that they were waiting for BART to open, and now appear to have gone home. Their numbers are holding steady at about a dozen people.
Charlie Mac, 20, is one of them. He was arrested last night, just got out of jail and is still wearing a wristband. Mac lives with his grandmother in West Oakland, but had camped out in the tent city since Oct. 18.
His grandmother is in the dark: "I don't know what she knows about this, because I haven't told her anything."
He was a protester at last year's Oscar Grant protest. "I was just there to be there -- I didn't know what it was about."
He's at this protest because he wants a job.
He says the police hurt him last night, and that he was one of the ones yelling at police. "I bet as soon as the media leave the cops are gonna start back up."
Lano Rice, 29, from North Oakland, was standing next to woman in a wheelchair when police threw a tear gas device under her chair.
They kicked it away. "But it kept sparking and smoking and me and another gentleman took her and went around the corner, but we came right back."
"I wasn't scared, I was
disappointed that they would do something like that."
7:10 a.m. Downtown returns to life without tent city
Light traffic now flowing on Broadway and a steady stream of people in and out of BART. Street cleaners are out and people opening shops. A man is pressure-cleaning the closed plaza.
Matt, who didn't give his last name, came here from San Francisco this morning to help out. He brought a broom and spent a while sweeping up broken glass.
"Some jerks that were here threw some bottles and just cause someone wants to mess things up doesn't mean we shouldn't take some responsibility. The point isn't to make a mess and trash the city," he said.
Filipe Arenas, 56, was waiting next to the protest for a bus to Jack London Square (to Amtrak). He saw the "Cali united against policy brutality" banner hanging on the plaza barricade and assumed this was an anti- brutality event. "It's not about police brutality? If it's about economic justice I'd think more unemployed people would protest."
Adam Alvarado, 31, lives around the corner. "They're protesting the bailouts, I think?"
He's taking BART to work. This station was closed yesterday, but he didn't mind going to the Lake Merritt station instead. "I have options, luckily."
A city worker, who didn't want to give her name, has been ignoring the saga outside her office.
"I guess I just come to work here and then I go home."
6:25 a.m. 'Stupid people who were provoking the cops'
Michael Porter, 24, works full time selling DirectTV, has camped at the Occupy Oakland site for the last 8 days.
He was disheartened to see everyone disperse last night -- down to 30 people after 3 a.m.
"We lost a lot of them because of the tear gas. And it was because of stupid people who were provoking the cops. It's random people who see a big group and are like, 'let's start a riot.' All it takes is one thing and it's like let's gas everyone. And I kind of understand where the cops are coming from as far as responding to signs of aggression. That's why we've got to keep those people out."
He's hanging around hoping to educate newcomers this morning about not provoking the police. Then he's going to sleep in his own bed for the first time in a week and then, he says, come back down.
Why? "I've always been told to be the change you want to see; I want to see more people come out"
Up to a dozen protesters, all men right now.
A plate window across the street shattered around what looks like a rubber bullet hole. Protesters telling police one of them owes someone a new window.
Wednesday, 5:45 a.m. The morning after
Protesters are outnumbered by media and police this morning at Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall in downtown Oakland. There are 11 protesters, a dozen police and the same number of reporters and photographers.
The plaza is relatively quiet, with protesters milling about and lightly taunting police. One protester is advocating for California secession and another warning that the media have ties to Chevron.
One officer is patrolling the grounds outside City Hall with a police dog.
Barricades have been set up along 14th Street to prevent access to the plaza. The area has been cleaned up after yesterday's melees.
Snow Park, near Lake Merritt, is empty this morning and showing no signs of protesters.
Contributions from Josh Richman, Matt Krupnick, Ray Chavez, Sean Maher, Hannah Dreier and Robert Salonga