If you haven’t seen it already today, Downtown Oakland is a mess. The tail-end of yesterday’s General Strike degenerated into violence, vandalism and looting following a successful shutdown of the evening shift at the Port of Oakland by tens of thousands of marchers. Windows at City Hall were smashed, buildings were covered in graffiti, and trash burned at the intersection of 16th and Telegraph following an attempt to occupy the foreclosed building of the Traveler’s Aid Society, an organization that aided the homeless.
The Black Blocs that touched off the property destruction in the afternoon at the downtown banks and 27th Street Whole Foods and that fired M80 firecrackers at a line of riot police late that evening had strong contingents of out-of-town anarchists (a group of masked demonstrators were overheard speaking Greek amongst themselves). Eighty people were arrested by the Oakland Police Department, with the assistance of an undetermined number of Contra Costa and Alameda law enforcement agencies called in on mutual aid (again).
It remains to be seen how last night’s events will affect Occupy Oakland and the broader Occupy Wall Street movement. Yesterday’s violence and property destruction has been widely condemned by Occupy Oakland, and there is talk of the camp participating in the ongoing cleanup efforts. Tonight’s City Council meeting at 5:30 PM on Occupy Oakland will provide the best indication of how authorities will approach the encampment in the aftermath of the General Strike
Photos and videos after the jump