On Monday, about 200 Occupy Oakland protesters clashed with counter protesters and police on the steps of Oakland City Hall.
Occupy Oakland gathered for a day of action to protest the arrests at the January 28 protest, the most charged Occupy Oakland police clash since November. But across the plaza, a group of about 50 counter protesters formed opposing the occupiers, wearing armbands and signs reading, "I stand with Oakland." The group called itself Stand For Oakland.
"The violent faction of the Occupy movement say they speak for Oakland," said Oakland City Council member Desley Brooks to San Jose Mercury News. "And your regular Oaklanders are here today to say they speak for themselves."
In recent months, tension between the city of Oakland and the occupiers, as well as tensions within the Occupy movement itself, have led to heated debates over the nature of the movement and the limits of protest. But Monday was the first appearance of a growing counter-movement, opposing the allegedly destructive faction of Occupy Oakland.
On January 28, about 400 people -- including journalists -- were arrested at a mass protest, at which police used tear gas and flash grenades. The protest was also marked by a heavy anarchist presence that included graffiti across the city and a flag burning inside City Hall, deeply frustrating some city residents. And on Monday, some of those residents confronted Occupy Oakland.
"I think this will make them see that the citizens are concerned and that the citizens are tired of the actions that they are taking," said Oakland Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council member Angela Haller to Mercury News who joined Stand For Oakland.
Monday's protest grew tense when police officers confiscated a loudspeaker from Occupy protesters, and occupiers took to the streets in a march.
Watch footage of the protest in Oakland in KTVU's video below:
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