Occupy Oakland, Occupy SF Stay Peaceful

San Francisco rally see costumes, Michael Moore

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mat Luschek
    Filmmaker, and activist Michael Moore speaks during Occupy Oakland at Ogawa Plaza, Friday, Oct. 28, 2011. He visited Occupy SF on Saturday.

    Anti-Wall Street demonstrators held a festive march through San Francisco Saturday, but tension marked another march in nearby Oakland as protesters rallied against police violence in the name of an Iraq War veteran who was injured during a police clash.

    Many of the some 1,000 demonstrators in San Francisco wore costumes as organizers had urged, including suits in an apparent imitation of Wall Street bankers and Robin Hood outfits.
            Before the march, left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore told them that excesses on Wall Street had stolen ``the futures of so many of our citizens.''
            San Francisco police escorted the crowd as it snaked through city streets, and police spokesman Albie Esparza said there were no arrests or any disturbances.
            The crowd stopped briefly and chanted in support of Scott Olsen, the 24-year-old Iraq War veteran who suffered a fractured skull in an Oakland protest on Tuesday.

    Olsen was moved to another undisclosed hospital Friday on order of his insurance company. Friends said Saturday he is recovering, but still can't speak.
            Later Saturday night, hundreds marched through the streets of Oakland in protest of police violence, as helicopters hovered overhead and officers in riot gear lined the streets.
            The protesters chanted ``Whose streets? Our streets!'' and ``This is what a police state looks like!''        At one point tensions grew as protesters came face-to-face with
     a line of officers and some began taunting them, according to the Oakland Tribune.
            But march organizers began shouting ``Peace people up front!'' then stood between some of the more unruly demonstrators and police officers. The situation grew calm and the march returned to the Oakland camp where it began.
            There were no immediate reports of arrests or injuries.
            A hospital spokesman said Olsen's condition was fair Saturday, and he had been moved from Highland Hospital in Oakland to another facility, but he could not say where.
            Moore and other prominent figures had asked to visit Olsen, but his parents were restricting visitors to just family, Highland spokesman Vintage Foster told the Oakland Tribune.
            ``The only thing they care about is their son getting better,'' Foster said.
            Fellow veterans say police fired an object that struck him in the head, but authorities say the object has yet to be definitively established, as well as the person responsible for the injury. His
     plight has become a rallying cry at Occupy protests around the world.
            Oakland Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan defended the officers' action in the Tuesday incident, which stemmed from an effort to drive protesters from the encampment. He said in a
     statement that officers used what they believed to be the least amount of force possible to protect themselves, but that ``all allegations of misconduct and excessive uses of force are being
     thoroughly investigated.''
            The encampment at the Oakland plaza near city hall has grown to about 50 tents, with organizers saying up to a thousand people were in the area late Friday with very few police in sight.
            Protesters there also announced a strike on Nov. 2, when they will be urging banks and corporations to close for the day.
            Across the San Francisco Bay, protesters at the San Francisco encampment reported earlier Saturday that city workers temporarily moved some protesters to clean the plaza.
            Christine Falvey, a spokeswoman for that city's mayor, Ed Lee, had said earlier that the camp cannot remain for ``too many more days'' because of health concerns.
            Events in other California cities, including Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Los Angeles and its suburbs, were held Saturday.
            The LA protest spread north to the San Fernando Valley, but police said that unlike the ones downtown at City Hall, these demonstrators won't be setting up camp. About 20 protesters calling
     themselves Occupy San Fernando Valley marched at Van Nuys Civic Center.
            Los Angeles police released a statement saying anyone who violates the property's rules by setting up tents or trespassing after hours would be removed.
            Protesters said they would move to nearby streets when police tell them to leave
            Demonstrators also gathered in Lancaster, about 50 miles north of Los Angeles in the mostly rural Antelope Valley.        In San Diego, police broke up a three-week-old encampment early
     Friday, arresting 51 people.
            In California's agricultural heartland, officials prepared to oust a group of about 30 demonstrators from next to a Fresno County courthouse. County officials said the group's permit would expire midnight Monday, and that demonstrators faced jail time and $500 fines if they remained.