Stunning Photos Of How Occupy Oakland Took Over The City Last Night

Occupy Oakland

Photo: AP

Around 5:00 p.m. PST Oakland’s Mayor Jean Quan and her fellow officials held a press conference.They said that the city had sustained minimal damage during the day’s protest, but that the police were calling in reinforcements from other cities anyway. She also said that the crowds preparing to march on the Port of Oakland were peaceful.

Most importantly, she said there were only around 4,500 marchers. According to pictures, and reports from other media outlets, to us, that estimate seems low.

From here in New York, we at Business Insider watched the protests escalate from a peaceful demonstration, to a powerful show of frustration from police, occupiers, and Oakland residents. There were fires, there was tear gas, and there were people who got very badly hurt. You can see it all in these photos from the Associated Press.

Last night the Occupation showed that it is a force to be reckoned with. That, if it so desires, it can put enough people on the street to cause chaos. Bodies, after all, are power. But that power comes at a cost, not just to the city of Oakland, but to the public’s perception of the occupation.

Listen: stay peaceful.

The occupation has been totally rebuilt since police raided Occupy Oakland's camp last week.

And they came back stronger than ever

They started planning this strike almost immediately after last week's encounter with authorities

People all over Oakland were upset with the excessive force used by police.

And Mayor Quan has become a major target of their ire, obviously.

So they joined the protest by the thousands

Official numbers put it at 5,000

But we, and other media outlets, and the protesters, think there easily could have been double that number.

First, they took over downtown Oakland, on Broadway.

There was the usual — signs, music, dancing...

But there was also an element you don't see here in NYC — vandalism (this is Wells Fargo).

Banks closed and employees went home. At one point there was a rumour that Whole Foods was firing their employees for protesting, and the store was attacked.

Authorities blame most of the violence on a group of 60-70 black-clad anarchists.

The police didn't have the numbers they needed to handle all of this. By afternoon, they were calling for reinforcements from other cities.

Mayor Quan and Police Chief Jordan held a press conference telling everyone to stay calm.

And that was all before the protesters finished their march to the Port of Oakland, the 5th largest port in the U.S.

They were greeted warmly by workers. Trucks didn't harm them.

And look at that crowd heading over to take the port. Insane!

People were dancing on trucks and hanging on scaffolding. It was a party.

When night fell things started getting wilder, and the police started trying to calm the protesters.

Naturally, the protesters were not about to leave just because of a few thousand police.

This guy is running from tear gas.

Protesters were lighting bonfires and there are reports alleging that the police used flash-bang devices.

This man was carried away after getting hit with a projectile.

The most horrible incident of all is captured right here. A car stuck in traffic revved up and hit two protesters. The rest of the crowd charged on it and held it until police came.

We assume the driver was frustrated with waiting. According to reports, the driver tried to switch seats with the passenger before police came. Maybe he was drunk. Disgusting.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.