Nightly News   |  October 26, 2011

Quiet in Oakland after police, ‘Occupy’ protesters clash

“Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators have been using Frank H. Ogawa Plaza as a rallying base for roughly two weeks. But on Tuesday night protesters and police clashed. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: As we just heard here again tonight, student debt is one of the big concerns of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement. And is Oakland , California , 85 people were arrested yesterday morning when police evicted them. Some were complaining about what they said were heavy-handed tactics used by police who used tear gas and fired bean bag rounds into the crowd during the predawn raid. Later in the day, things got even worse. Our own Miguel Almaguer is standing by in Oakland for us tonight. Miguel , good evening.

MIGUEL ALMAGUER reporting: Brian , good evening. Oakland is relatively quiet tonight, so far. This plaza has been home to demonstrators who have been protesting against corporate greed and other issues for the two weeks, but last night that protest came to an end after a clash between police and demonstrators. Mayhem, violence and blood spilled onto Oakland streets. Occupy Oakland protesters and police faced off for six hours. This after an early morning raid by hundreds of police officers forced nearly 300 demonstrators from their Occupy Oakland camp.

Unidentified Man: What this is is a gathering of working people trying to reverse a situation that has occurred that has kicked them out of their homes.

ALMAGUER: Tear gas was volleyed into the air.

Unidentified Woman: They just started shooting off. And then after -- even the fact that everybody left, they kept shooting.

ALMAGUER: As police say rocks, bottles, even small explosives were thrown at them. More than 100 were arrested as the late-night crowd swelled to nearly a thousand.

Mr. HOWARD JORDAN (Oakland police Department Chief): The decision to move was based on public health and safety due to defecation, fire hazards, sexual assault incidents, violent behavior and a denial of access of medical aid.

ALMAGUER: Oakland wasn't the only city trying to move out protesters. Across the country in Atlanta ...

Group of People: Occupy Atlanta!

ALMAGUER: ...police in riot gear arrested 50 overnight. In Denver , occupiers were digging in. Even snow and the threat of hypothermia didn't deter demonstrators there. But overseas in London , one newspaper investigation claims protesters often go home at night. Thermal images on the Daily Mail 's website show most of these tents in purple appear to be empty. Back in this country, the occupy protests have cost cities money and resources. In Los Angeles , the mayor says the bill so far is $60,000. And tonight there seems to be no end to the protests in sight. As a matter of fact, here in Oakland in just few hours, protesters say they plan to, quote, "Reclaim and retake this plaza." Police say they'll be ready to square off. As a matter of fact, in San Francisco , Brian , crowds are also expected to show up in the plaza center across the bay.

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