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Tear gas, arrests as protests heat up on West Coast

/ 07:25 AM May 02, 2012

Occupy Oakland protesters march near City Hall in downtown Oakland, California, during the May Day protest on May 1, 2012. A handful of Occupy protestors were arrested as they clashed with police who used tear gas. Four or five protestors were detained after being chased by officers in Oakland, near San Francisco, which was the scene of repeated Occupy protests last year, some of which turned violent. AFP PHOTO/Kimihiro Hoshino

OAKLAND, California — Police arrested a number of Occupy protestors Tuesday after clashing in May Day demonstrations in California, an Agence France-Presse photographer said, as tear gas was used here and further north in Seattle.

Demonstrators broke a number of shop windows in downtown Seattle, in Washington state, and set a fire outside a US District Court, local media reported.

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In Oakland, which was the scene of repeated Occupy protests last year, some of which turned violent, four or five protestors were detained after being chased by officers.

The Oakland Police Department did not immediately confirm the arrests, which came as Occupy Wall Street protestors took to the streets in New York and elsewhere as part of a planned “general strike” across the United States.

The Contra Costa Times reported that at least three protestors were arrested as the May Day protest heated up, after police fired at least two tear-gas rounds into what had so far been a peaceful demonstration.

Officers ordered the crowd to clear an intersection in downtown Oakland, but many refused to move, chanting, “We are not afraid. The whole world is watching,” it reported.

Tensions rose after police chased down several protesters and detained them. A crowd quickly formed around them, shouting and hurling objects at the officers.

In Seattle protestors broke the front windows of sportswear store Niketown and several windows of American Apparel, while scrawling graffiti on a Fidelity Investments offices.

Swarms of black-clad protestors set a small fire outside the old US Court of Appeals, and shot paintballs at the building, the Seattle Times reported.

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TAGS: Economy, Labor Day, May Day, Occupy Movement, Politics, Protests, US, West Coast
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