Thursday, September 24, 2009

Police and Protesters Clash in Oakland

A crowd gathered Thursday evening next to the Carnegie Library in Oakland near the entry area to the Phipps Conservatory. Most of the people were onlookers, but some small protest groups were in the midst of the horde.
The Save Darfur contingency got to Schenley Plaza early hoping world leaders would spot them as they drove in their motorcade to Phipps for dinner. But attention was soon diverted to the spectacle of “Collective Thresholds” a performance art group dressed up in wild costumes made of shredded rags, plastic bags, cardboard and body paint. Member Mariel Salms says their theme was something along the lines of “If you think we’re outrageous, you should check out the G20”

"We can't see them, we can't talk to them. No on has jurisdiction over what they do."

But the main event was not the protests, instead, throngs of students crowded the street trying to catch a glimpse of the riot police massed on the bridge behind the library. When the students and a few rowdy demonstrators got too close the police several times ordered them to disperse. Police then used what was believed to be smoke canisters to scare them way. But when that failed the officers moved forward on horseback and foot, moving everyone in their path back with batons until they re-established a perimeter at the edge of Schenley Plaza.

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