To mark the one-year anniversary of the Occupy San Jose movement, a very small group of occupiers set up in front of City Hall on Saturday, peacefully holding signs and offering free wares in a 24-hour rally.
That scene was a stark contrast to the nearly two-dozen protesters in San Francisco, who police said had hammers, ice picks, flares and bags of rocks, and who were arrested on a variety of charges by late afternoon. It was not immediately clear if the protesters were related to the Occupy movement, or what their motives were. But their actions did take place near the one-year anniversary of the worldwide movement decrying the rich.
That type of violence has never been part of the San Jose Occupy movement, where spokeswoman Shaunn Cartwright said the occupiers simply planned to sleep in front of San Jose City Hall on Saturday and stay until noon on Sunday. This is the group's first overnight "occupation" since they were evicted last year. About 8 p.m., Cartwright said there were about 15 people gathered on the sidewalk near Fourth and Santa Clara streets and they were about to see a movie, perhaps "Too Big Too Fail."
"We will be creating an alternative to the unjust corporate takeover of the economy and of our lives," Cartwright said. "We invite all of the 99 percent to come out and join us for this great opportunity to meet neighbors, build community, celebrate a fantastic year, and organize for the years to come.''
Cartwright said the San Jose group is echoing what the Occupy Redwood City group, who also held a peaceful, one-night occupation in front of Redwood City's City Hall.
Many groups across the nation have also been holding one-year anniversaries of the Occupy movement, some peaceful and some not.
More than 180 were arrested at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan where the movement began a year ago.
And in San Francisco on Saturday, police arrested 22 protesters, many of whom were dressed in masks and black clothes, and held an unpermitted march westbound on Market Street about 3 p.m.
Officer Gordon Shy said the group disrupted traffic - during the Bay Area's big weekend of events with more than one million extra people visiting the city - and were told several times to stop.
Shyy said one officer was struck in the head, and the protesters were throwing flares and bags of rocks and paint at police. At one point, vandals smashed the window of a Starbucks on at California and Battery streets.
The San Francisco protesters may now face charges of conspiracy, riot, refusing to obey a lawful order from a peace officer and resisting, delaying and obstructing a peace officer, and assault and battery on a peace officer.