Occupy Oakland turns violent as protesters clash with police


A police officer attempts to control the scene after being surrounded while making an arrest at an "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration in response to an early morning police raid which displaced Occupy Oakland's tent city in Oakland, California October 25, 2011.


Stephen Lam

Following a day of peaceful protests throughout the Oakland area, demonstrators clashed with police in a confrontation that resulted in police firing several rounds of tear gas and "flash bang grenades." 

The confrontation began after protesters started a large bonfire in the middle of a downtown street. Police warned protesters to clear out, as the flames leaped from more than 15 feet in the air from several large metal and plastic trash bins that had been pushed together.

According to ABC News: 

Officials at the Port of Oakland said Wednesday that they hope to resume normal operations in the morning after protesters marched through the city all day and into the night on a “general strike” that saw banks and stores picketed and disrupted the flow of traffic. 

The Associated Press reported that there were as many police at the demonstration as there were protesters.

According to the LA Times, a police statement later said that protesters had hurled rocks, explosives, bottles and flaming objects at officers.

More from GlobalPost: Occupy Oakland plans next move.  

After the clash, police and protestors separated by a few feet stared each other down in a tense standoff. A few dozen people sat on the ground in front of the officers.

The LA Times reported: 

Interim Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said police believed that only about 60 or 70 of them -- black-garbed with kerchiefs covering their faces -- were believed to be committing vandalism.