Several UC Berkeley students were among the estimated more than 400 individuals arrested at the tumultuous Occupy Oakland “Move-in Day” protest on Saturday.
The protest — originally planned as a march to turn a vacant building into a new social and political meeting center for the Occupy Oakland movement — resulted in a City Hall break-in and a clash with police, who used batons and tear gas on protesters.
Occupy Cal protesters are currently coordinating to generate a complete list of UC Berkeley students who were arrested at the protest. Campus graduate student Amanda Armstrong estimated that between one- and two-dozen UC Berkeley students out of a larger group of at least 50 student protesters were arrested.
Oakland Police Department could not be reached for comment as of press time.
Mass arrests began around 6 p.m., according to UC Berkeley senior Alex Kim, an Occupy Cal demonstrator who was arrested at the Oakland protest.
“They slowly picked away at us,” Kim said. “It was pretty much cat-and-mouse. They would block us off, and we would go in a different direction. They kind of shoved us in a corner and wouldn’t let us go.”
Kim said he was arrested on charges of remaining at the scene of a riot and that he was released around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. He said the group was not being aggressive and that the police were “wasting resources.”
Armstrong, who was also arrested, said she was “very upset” with the kettling — a tactic used by police to contain large crowds — that occurred.
UC Berkeley senior Navid Shaghaghi said he drove home several protesters after they were released, including seven UC Berkeley students.
“They were releasing some people early — smaller groups of people who had been injured,” he said. “I think they wanted to do it before reporters could get to see these people come out with wounds.”
Shaghaghi said he knew of at least 22 UC Berkeley students who were arrested.
On Sunday, Occupy Oakland’s media committee issued a statement criticizing the police response.
“Contrary to their own policy, the OPD gave no option of leaving or instruction on how to depart,” the statement reads. “These arrests are completely illegal, and this will probably result in another class action lawsuit against the OPD who have already cost Oakland $58 million in lawsuits over the past 10 years.”
Oakland Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan defended his officers’ response to the situation, according to a report from The Associated Press. The report also said at least three officers and one protester had been injured.
As of Monday afternoon, at least two arrested UC Berkeley students had not yet been released, according to Armstrong.
Amy Wang covers academics and administration.