Oakland, CA police arrested about 300 individuals Saturday as Occupy protesters attempted to break into a vacant convention center, City Hall, and tried to occupy an Oakland YMCA.
Police spokesman Jeff Thomason said most of the arrests came around 8 PM local time, when police took protesters into custody as they marched through the city’s downtown.
Thomason said Oakland police were sent to sweep City Hall looking for protesters who had reportedly broken in, then ran out of the building carrying stolen American flags just prior to the officers’ arrival on the scene.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said during a news briefing late Saturday that protesters had actually forced their way into City Hall, where they burned American flags, broke into an electrical box and damaged several art structures, including a recycled art exhibit created by local children.
It is not clear at this time whether or not Occupy protest organizers have publicly commented as to how these events, including the burning of the nation’s flag, has furthered their cause or helped them convey a specific message.