A peaceful gathering at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza grew tense when protestors participating in the Occupy Oakland demonstration were denied entrance to the 12th St. City Center BART station, resulting in two arrests.
The Occupy Oakland protesters were urged by members of neighboring OccupySF to join the group at Justin Herman Plaza in anticipation of a police raid on the encampment a day after violent confrontations between police and protesters in downtown Oakland.
“Tonight at 9:30 the tenants union and other organizations have called for a demonstration,” noted one speaker at the gathering in Oakland. “We will be at OccupySF at Justin Herman Plaza to defend the occupation against the police. We’re asking for your support.”
BART officials and police shut down the 12th Street Oakland BART station as protesters approached with the intention of joining the demonstration at Justin Herman Plaza, which already had an estimated 500 people gathered.
In lieu of BART closures, the protestors began to march down to Oakland City Hall.
“I feel an immense solidarity it’s just really powerful. I’ve never been to a movement like this but it’s really nice,” said SF State sophomore Sam Ashcraft, who was participating in the rally. “It seems pretty peaceful with people right now and if you overpower the police and their brutality with peace then I think we’ll be fine.”
The estimated 1,000 people in attendance to support Occupy Oakland began to lose momentum after they were prevented from traveling to San Francisco.
However, San Francisco resident Danny Colligan, 26, who did make it from Oakland to San Francisco to support the occupation, shared his thoughts on the night.
“I’ve been occupying the Oakland camp a lot more and there’s a much greater shared sense of purpose because of the last 30 hours or so,” said Colligan. “And here, from what I’ve been hearing, that kind of event may or may not happen tonight.”
The support continued well into the night with dancing, drumming, and sit-ins remaining strong into the late hours of 3 a.m.