An estimated 300 protesters were arrested Saturday, Jan. 28 by the Oakland police. Ten UC Davis students were among those arrested.
The events included marching through streets and an attempt to occupy Oakland’s city hall and the vacant Henry Kaiser Convention Center. Protesters were met with tear gas, rubber bullets and mass arrests by the Oakland police, a press release stated.
“There were a couple of times I was close enough to the front lines where I was near tear gas and concussion grenades,” said Deanna Johnson, a sophomore environmental horticulture and urban forestry major. “Once I was arrested, I was kept in an overcrowded holding cell in the Santa Rita Jail. I was one of the first arrested and one of the first released, after 12 hours.”
At 3 a.m. guards began to mop the floors as a way to keep the protesters awake in their cell, Johnson said.
“I was arrested at around 8 or 9 p.m. outside of the YMCA building during a kettle that lasted two hours,” said Geoffrey Wildanger, an art history major.
A kettle is a police tactic for controlling large crowds.
“I got on a bus eventually. It was pretty disgusting; vomit was inside the bus. I was eventually taken to Santa Rita Jail, and kept in a holding cell with 16 people,” he said.
After being transferred a number of times to overcrowded holding cells and being held in a cell of 55 people without access to working water, Wildanger was released at 8:30 p.m. Monday night, he said.
“I was never fingerprinted or booked. So, if people called looking for me, there was no record that I was there,” Wildanger said.
Those standing in front of the YMCA building were charged-to-hold with misdemeanors. Those inside the building were charged-to-hold with felonies. Those felonies have been erased, however, according to Wildanger.
UC Davis students participated in a protest last Wednesday in response to arrests at Occupy Oakland and to demonstrate support.
Protesters met at the Memorial Union (MU) at noon and marched through the ASUCD Coffee House (CoHo) while chanting “Show me what democracy looks like; this is what democracy looks like” and holding trash bins that resembled police riot gear. Drums were used throughout the march, but protesters were soon asked to stop using them by CoHo employees.
The marchers continued through campus, stopping at the Silo Union and ending at the UC Davis Police Department.
A general assembly was conducted in front of the locked front doors of the police department.
“[The events at Occupy Oakland] affected Occupy UC Davis partially because about 10 people from the group were arrested. It also reminded a lot of people that the police use violence against protesters and it brought that discussion back up,” Johnson said.
ALICIA KINDRED can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.