On Tuesday, authorities have made a series of arrests at Occupy Wall Street protests in California and Georgia and even sprayed tear gas into a crowd of demonstrators, CNN reports. Law enforcement officials claimed that the crowd threw paint and objects at the police officers.
Calls were made for 500 people to leave the downtown area of Oakland, California Tuesday, however they resisted and remained camped near City Hall.
“The city remains committed to respecting free speech as well as maintaining the city’s responsibility to protect public health and safety,” Oakland police said in a statement.
Atlanta, Georgia demonstrators also came under police radar last night after Mayor Kasim Reed sent ministers to the park “to see if we can find a way to resolve this amicably.”
Concerns were raised when a man was seen with a rifle in the park, Reed told WSB-TV. “We could not determine whether the weapon was loaded and could not get additional information on the weapon,” he said.
Arrests began taking place around 12:45 a.m.
Organizers had ordered protesters to be peaceful if police took action, and most were, WSB said. Many gathered in the center of the park, locked arms and sang “We Shall Overcome,” as police led them one by one to waiting buses.
Images from Oakland’s raid don’t show a peaceful scene. These are only two of several cities worldwide that are supporting the Occupy Wall Street protests, which started in New York in September to challenge the 1% of wealthy individuals whom protesters claim hold influence and power over the 99% of working class citizens.