(AFP) — Clashes broke out between masked protesters and police here early Thursday after a day of peaceful anti-Wall Street protests shut down one of the United States’ busiest ports.
The demonstrations were mainly peaceful until around midnight, when dozens of protesters in the city center hurled rocks and bottles, briefly occupied a vacant building and torched a barricade. Riot police responded with tear gas.
The violent protesters appeared to be a breakaway group from the much larger Occupy Wall Street movement that has been camped out near Oakland’s City Hall, many of whom rushed to the scene to urge calm, an AFP photographer said.
The Oakland Tribune reported that one protester was injured and later taken away by an ambulance, and that police had arrested 30 to 40 people. The Oakland police could not immediately be reached for comment.
“Celebrate the death of capitalism,” read a banner on a makeshift altar decorated with flowers. Vendors sold ice cream and cotton candy, music blared, and booths handed out anti-capitalist literature.