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Occupy Oakland Protesters Decry, Debate Vandals

Minority of protesters embrace violent tactics
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2011 2:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – A group of Occupy Oakland protesters met yesterday to decry the handful of masked protesters who turned Wednesday night’s protest from a peaceful one into a violent clash with cops. “They are smearing our movement,” one protester declared to applause. “People who want to destroy our community are not welcome here.” But that feeling wasn’t universal, the San Francisco Chronicle reports; an afternoon press conference to decry the violence devolved into what the paper characterizes as a “shouting match.”

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Few expressed support for the vandals’ tactics, but some expressed sympathy. “A few broken windows is a reflection of what I feel,” one protester said. “I can understand why people would have the rage to go and break something.” It’s also unclear how the movement could rein in its unruly fringe; one said he’d tried to take down the barricade the masked men were erecting in the street Wednesday, but the protesters shouted curses at him and briefly put him in a headlock. (Read more Occupy Oakland stories.)

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