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The 'violent crackdown' on Occupy Oakland
In California, police and protesters clash and tear gas is fired. Did the violent standoff help or hurt the movement?
 
Oakland officers congregate in the remains of the Occupy Oakland camp after police shut it down Tuesday night.
Oakland officers congregate in the remains of the Occupy Oakland camp after police shut it down Tuesday night.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The video: Police and protesters faced off in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday night in what's being called a "violent crackdown" on the Occupy movement. Tuesday morning, police cleared about 170 protesters from their encampment outside of City Hall and arrested 97 demonstrators who didn't cooperate. Later in the day, hundreds (or more than 1,000, according to a police statement) returned to City Hall, triggering intense new scuffles between the law and protesters. After a warning announcement, the police started firing tear gas canisters into the crowd. Protesters who claim police also fired flash grenades and rubber bullets (something police deny) posted photos of their alleged injuries on Twitter. (Watch a video from the ground, below.)

The reaction: From Oakland to Atlanta, police are unwisely "using heavy-handed tactics to disperse the growing Occupy movements," says Andrew Belonsky at Death + Taxes. Instead of dampening the unrest, they're only reinvigorating activists. "Police are now playing into the narrative and actually giving life to the movement," Heather Gautney, a Fordham University sociologist, tells The Christian Science Monitor. What we saw in Oakland may even force it to a new level, where it becomes a movement about "people's rights to express themselves." C'mon, Oakland police didn't have any other options, the city's acting Police Chief Howard Jordan tells CBS News. Protesters were hurling bottles and stones, and "we had to deploy gas to stop the crowd." See for yourself, below:

 

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