A nation away from New York's Wall Street, thousands of sympathetic California protesters thronged the streets of Oakland yesterday and shut down the city's port in the most vigorous anti-corporate demonstration of the past weeks. Moms and dads, the jobless, students and union members joined together for a day-long protest and general strike that ended in a march to the port where activists blocked shipments, effectively closing operations accounting for some $8.5 million in business a day, reports the Los Angeles Times. Protesters also blocked intersections and pounded on the windows of banks, forcing some to close.
"This is a warning, a test, to the 1%. We don't need them, they need us," one of the protesters told the Guardian. Police announced earlier they had made no arrests and the protest was largely peaceful, but cops were keeping careful watch as the night progressed. “The world is watching Oakland tonight. We need to make sure this remains a safe place for everyone,” said City Administrator Deanna Santana. Initially, police were notably restrained just days after a rubber bullet shot by cops fractured the skull of former Marine Scott Olsen, who is still hospitalized with serious head trauma. But the Oakland Tribune was reporting that a squad of police appeared to be moving in to shut down the Occupy Oakland encampment after midnight, and were firing tear gas cannisters.