Update (9 a.m.): Conger tells us that Hazmat teams have come into the plaza and are clearing the area. Police are checking identification and letting city employees into the plaza at City Hall. Watch a live stream of the scene here.
Update (8:45 a.m.) SF Weekly's Kate Conger is at the scene of the raid and tells us that police have blocked off all of Broadway near 14th Street. Flattened tents are scattered across Frank Ogawa Plaza and police appear to have finished arresting protesters, although the final count is still uncertain. On the other side of the barricade, some Occupy Oakland protesters appear unaffected by the morning raid; they are relaxing and jamming on guitars.
Original story (7:56 a.m.) As expected, police raided the Occupy Oakland camp in downtown early this morning, arresting protesters and breaking down the encampment that's been a source of tension for the city for the last five weeks.
According to media reports, police started arriving at 5 a.m., donning helmets and riot gear. They circled the camp at 14th and Broadway streets, and as of 6:45 a.m., police had arrested 25 protesters and removed all the tents, the Chron is reporting.
Protesters reportedly chanted "we shall overcome" as they were being hauled to jail. We're hearing that protesters are planning to reconvene at the Oakland library later today to plot their next steps for Occupy Oakland, which started as a way to protest big banks in America.
When police raided the camp on Oct. 25, protesters marched through downtown Oakland and tried to take back the barricaded encampment. The march grew chaotic and then violent when police tossed flash-bang grenades and teargassed demonstrators in the streets.
After that, Mayor Jean Quan was heavily criticized for ordering the camp to go. So she let protesters move back into the plaza, where the number of squatters has multiplied everyday. Meanwhile, business in downtown dropped significantly, and the City Council put pressure on Quan to uproot the camp after a man was shot and killed near the camp last week.
Check back for details through the day.
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