OAKLAND, Calif. — A protest that shut down the Port of Oakland to show the broadening reach of the Occupy Wall Street movement ended in violence when police in riot gear arrested dozens of protesters overnight who broke into a vacant building, shattered downtown windows, sprayed graffiti and set blazes along the way.
At least four protesters were hospitalized Thursday with various injuries, including one needing stitches after fighting with an officer, police said. Several officers were also injured but didn't need hospitalization.
"We go from having a peaceful movement to now just chaos," protester Monique Agnew, 40, said early Thursday.
Protesters also threw concrete chunks, metal pipes, lit roman candles and molotov cocktails, police said.
The far-flung movement of protesters challenging the world's economic systems and distribution of wealth has gained momentum in recent weeks, capturing the world's attention by shutting down one of the nation's busiest shipping ports toward the end of a daylong "general strike" that prompted solidarity rallies across the U.S.
Several thousands of people converged on the Port of Oakland, the nation's fifth-busiest harbor, in a nearly five-hour protest Wednesday, swarming the area and blocking exits and streets with illegally parked vehicles and hastily erected, chain-link fences afterward.