OAKLAND (AP) — A rally on the steps of City Hall on Monday turned into a shouting match between Occupy Oakland organizers and a newly formed group of residents and downtown merchants opposed to tactics used by the protesters.
Occupy organizers had called for a "day of action" as part of the movement's ongoing conflict with police over tactics used during earlier protests.
Activists also gathered outside the county courthouse in solidarity with 11 Occupy Oakland protesters who were arraigned on misdemeanor charges of blocking a sidewalk; another was charged with a felony stemming from a January melee in front of City Hall.
A clash between protesters and police last month was followed by occupiers vandalizing City Hall and burning an American flag that stood on the grand staircase of the public building. More than 400 people were arrested.
On Monday, protesters were met by dozens of residents belonging to the newly formed Stand for Oakland group. They stood with a green and yellow banner on the steps of City Hall and wore armbands that called on others to stand for the city. Green and yellow are the colors of the Oakland A's baseball team.
"You don't respect the city of Oakland," Daud Abdullah, 51, shouted at Occupy Oakland organizers. "You're tearing the city apart."
Shake Anderson, an Occupy Oakland organizer, yelled back, "We're trying to address the issues; you wouldn't be here if it wasn't for us. We're building a community. I thank you for showing up."
Anderson then took a Stand for Oakland armband and waved it in the air, saying he also stood for Oakland.
The crowd grew to hundreds of people and police stepped in, confiscating Occupy Oakland's sound system.
That prompted Occupy Oakland protesters to start chanting, "Stand up, fight back," and calling police derogatory names.
Police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said officers confiscated the sound equipment because the occupiers did not have a permit and area businesses had complained about the noise.