Occupy Oakland: Protesters Run Down, Port Shut Down, Tear Gas All Around

Sounds like last night was another eventful one for the demonstrators of Occupy Oakland. After yesterday's general strike, during which anarchists who seem to hold a grudge against $10 tempeh loaves defiled the sanctity of a local Whole Foods, protesters occupied the local Travelers Aid building, danced in the streets, and hung an "Occupy Everything" banner, reports ABC.

Protesters also shut down the Port of Oakland, with a crowd of thousands halting activities there for the evening. For most of Wednesday, at least, the demonstrations were peaceful.

Early this morning, however, shit got real crazy—with police in riot gear tossing tear gas and projectiles and cuffing demonstrators by the dozen. Mother Jones tweeted that at least 60 demonstrators were arrested; meanwhile, the Guardian reported that a homeless man was injured by a rubber bullet, protesters set a barricade on fire, and several buildings sustained broken windows and other damage. Sounds like a mess.

On the micro, interpersonal level, the highpoint of last night's drama took place around 7:45 PM, when two protesters standing in the street were hit by a man driving a Mercedes. According to the Mercury News, the driver had been "irritated" by the protesters and just stepped on the gas. Nice display of heartless one percenter behavior, Mercedes guy!

Onlookers said the driver deliberately ran over the pair, accelerating after a man hit on the hood of the car.

The windshield was splattered with what appeared to be a milkshake.

After the car stopped at the other end of the intersection, the driver switched seats with his female passenger.

About 40 people gathered in the intersection and some pulled open the driver's door.

The woman inside shouted: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"

The injured man and woman were taken away in ambulances.

Police let the driver go.

Sounds like an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge to us, but perhaps different rules apply to people who drive Mercedes cars. You can watch the collision for yourself here (the crashing begins at around 2:37):

Rumors that one of the protesters had died after the collision turned out to be false, but both protesters did suffer leg and ankle injuries. Seriously, how much more symbolic of these protests can you get: An ostensibly privileged person driving their totem of luxury into frustrated people who are tired of privileged people hiding behind their totems of luxury. If you made up such a scene for a movie or short story, people would say it was too farfetched and cliched to ever be real. But there it is on a news reel.

[ABC, LA Times]