On Wednesday night, the Oakland Police released a video and photos of vandals breaking into and damaging City Hall and the YMCA, during the Occupy protests on Saturday. About 300 people were arrested during the daylong protests, which included an attempt to take over the Kaiser Convention Center to use as an Occupy base.
The video lasts about two minutes and shows protesters entering City Hall and leaving carrying an American flag, which is later set ablaze.
Police ask that people with information related to the incident call them at 510-238-3268.
Read the press release in full:
From the Oakland Police Department:
On Saturday, January 28th, a crowd of approximately 500 Occupy
Oakland protesters unsuccessfully attempted to break into the historic Henry J.
Kaiser Convention Center. This action was taken in spite of the City of Oakland’s
repeated advisements that peaceful assemblies, protests, and marches would be
facilitated, but that the illegal breaking and entering into buildings or other
criminal acts will not be tolerated.
In their attempt to illegally gain access to the Convention Center, members of the
crowd charged police skirmish lines and assaulted officers with bottles, metal
pipes and other projectiles, as well as spray cans, improvised explosive devices
and burning flares.
In addition to attempting to take over the Kaiser Convention Center, protesters
invaded the YMCA and broke into Oakland City Hall, where they committed acts
of vandalism, trespassing and theft. The enclosed, historic model of City Hall
(thought to be over 100 years old) was severely damaged, office spaces were
vandalized, windows were broken, and the United States Flag was stolen and
burned on the steps of City Hall. “This type of criminal behavior, clearly outside
of the First Amendment, is disrespectful to the residents of Oakland and is
unacceptable and will not be tolerated in my City,” said newly appointed Police
Chief Howard Jordan. “The residents of the City deserve better than this, and it’s
time for the violence and vandalism to cease,” he continued.
Other vandalism to City Hall included breaking into the elevator automation
panel, attempting to activate the fire sprinkler system, and breaking an interior
window to one of the Hearing Rooms.
The attached video link shows the front doors of City Hall being breached by use
of a pry tool, protesters gaining entry and removing items including an American
Flag which was taken from the second floor landing onto the front the steps, and
Investigators are attempting to identify the individuals responsible for these
criminal acts and are encouraging anyone with information to contact the Oakland
Police Department at 510-238-3268