‘Occupy’ protesters disavow Oakland violence

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In 2003, a police crackdown on an anti-war demonstration at the Port of Oakland left protesters and dockworkers hospitalized and resulted in police getting a new, stricter crowd-control policy.

The history of clashes goes back even further to demonstrations in the 1960s over the Vietnam War and the draft, among other issues.

For most of Wednesday, peace prevailed at the rallies in Oakland, even attracting families, some taking their children along in strollers. Protesters hung a large black banner downtown that read, “DEATH TO CAPITALISM.”

During the rally, some protesters broke away and picketed outside nearby banks. Some of the buildings were vandalized.

Further away from the rally, vandals shattered a Chase bank branch and splattered ink all over an ATM. Someone later taped a note to the shattered glass that read: “We are better than this. … Sorry, the 99 percent.”

In Philadelphia, protesters were arrested as they held a sit-in at the headquarters of cable giant Comcast. In New York, about 100 military veterans marched in uniform and stopped in front of the New York Stock Exchange, standing in loose formation.

The veterans were also angry that returned from war to find few job prospects.

In Boston, college students and union workers marched on Bank of America offices, the Harvard Club and the Massachusetts Statehouse to protest the nation’s burgeoning student debt crisis.

And among the other protests in Oakland, parents and their kids joined in by forming a “children’s brigade.”

“There’s absolutely something wrong with the system,” said Jessica Medina, a single mother who attends school part time and works at an Oakland cafe. “We need to change that.”

Associated Press writers Garance Burke, Marcus Wohlsen and Beth Duff-Brown in San Francisco; Terry Collins and Terence Chea in Oakland; Mark Pratt in Boston; JoAnn Loviglio in Philadelphia; Jon Fahey and Verena Dobnik in New York; and Christina Hoag in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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