The scene in downtown Oakland was much calmer early this evening as hundreds of protesters gathered in front of City Hall to talk about what's next for Occupy Oakland. The group shunned anyone who attempted to taunt police or create chaos, while members of the leaderless group circled Frank Ogawa Plaza and called for a citywide strike on November 2.
As helicopters circled above, protesters tore down the fences that barricaded them from the Plaza. A crowd gathered around as protesters shouted out proposals, including a citywide strike next week as a way to continue pushing back on "corporate greed," which has been the impetus behind the Occupy Wall Street Movement.
"On Wednesday, Nov. 2, we will liberate Oakland and shutdown the city," one protester announced. "All banks and corporations should close their doors, or we will march on them. The whole world is watching Oakland; let's show them what's possible."
The group proposed meeting again tomorrow night to discuss the details of the potential strike. The group will decide by a consensus vote whether or not to enact the strike, according to protesters. Meanwhile, they warned of a late-night police raid of the OccupySF camp in San Francisco.
Outside the general assembly, people milled around the plaza, which until Tuesday was the site of the Occupy Oakland camp. Hundreds of protesters had been camped out on the plaza for more than two weeks until Tuesday morning when police raided the camp, breaking down tents and arresting 79 people.
The raid only riled up the protesters, who marched the streets last night, tossing paint, bottles, and rocks at police clad in riot gear. The police responded with tear gas and flashbang grenades, which filled downtown Oakland with thick smoke and chaos. Protesters finally dispersed sometime around 11 p.m., promising they would be back.
As of now the strike has not been confirmed, but what is definite is that protesters are planning a vigil tomorrow night for Scott Olsen, a veteran marine who was critically injured by a police projectile in last night's violence.
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