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Video: Oakland port reopens after pre-dawn violence

  1. Transcript of: Oakland port reopens after pre-dawn violence

    BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Back out West we go. In Oakland , California , it was early this morning before dawn that police in riot gear moved in, broke up a protest that had been peaceful all day long even when it shut down the nation's fifth largest port, but then at the end took a violent turn. NBC 's Miguel Almaguer is in Oakland for us again tonight. Miguel , good evening.

    MIGUEL ALMAGUER reporting: Brian , good evening. Tonight the port is reopened, the city of Oakland is cleaning up after a violent morning. It was a sour ending to what was for the most part a peaceful day. It was the confrontation Oakland wanted to avoid. A small crowd of vandals threw Molotov cocktails and chunks of concrete at police.

    Unidentified Man #1: Today was a peaceful day. This could jeopardize people's lives right now.

    ALMAGUER: Officers fired back with tear gas and bean bags to clear away the rioters. More than 80 were arrested.

    Chief HOWARD JORDAN (Oakland Police Department Interim Chief): We consider them anarchists and provocateurs, people intent on causing problems, damage.

    ALMAGUER: The clash shattered what had been a noisy, but mostly peaceful citywide strike. Some 7,000 demonstrators marched and successfully shut down the nation's fifth largest port.

    Unidentified Man #2: Go home!

    ALMAGUER: At nightfall most left. The port reopened this morning.

    Mr. JOE JOHNSON (Truck Driver): I understand them trying to make a point or whatever, but it seems to me that they're hurting, you know, the little guys.

    Protesters: Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!

    ALMAGUER: In Seattle , Occupy protesters blocked hotel doors where the CEO of JPMorgan Chase was scheduled to speak. Police used pepper spray to move them.

    Unidentified Man #3: I'm sick and tired of the wealth inequalities in this country.

    Protesters: All day, all week, occupy Wall Street !

    ALMAGUER: In New York today, 17 were arrested when protesters blocked the entrance to Goldman Sachs . Back in Oakland , yesterday's demonstrators helped with today's cleanup.

    Ms. HADAS ALTERMAN (Occupy Oakland): They do not represent what Occupy Oakland or any movement in Occupy -- in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street is about.

    ALMAGUER: Vandals shattered bank windows, defaced walls and even stormed a Whole Foods store.

    Mr. DAVID McCOY: (Whole Foods Cashier): Went from a good, peaceful march and they went haywire when they came down here and started throwing paint, they attacked some of our customers that came out of our store.

    ALMAGUER: The Occupy Oakland protesters remain camped out on the steps of city hall . They say they are re-energized by yesterday's citywide strike. And despite this Bay Area rain, Brian , they say they have plans to go nowhere.

    WILLIAMS: Miguel Almaguer in the Bay Area for us tonight. Miguel , thanks.

Data: Occupy Wall Street

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