Demonstrators in Oakland, California, appeared to carry out a successful strike of downtown businesses Wednesday, as most merchants and retailers shuttered their doors during a largely peaceful protest.
Unlike prior Occupy Wall Street-style protests in downtown Oakland, no uniformed police officers were visible during the demonstrations as of Wednesday afternoon. Oakland gained national attention during a recent clash between protesters and police, who fired tear gas upon the demonstrators after they allegedly threw objects at officers, police said.
About the only businesses active in downtown Oakland Wednesday were street vendors selling food.
The General Assembly of Occupy Oakland, a loosely defined governing body of the protesters - voted 1,484 to 46 last week to call the general strike, though it is unclear what the group's demands are.
"(W)e invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city," the group's manifesto read. "We liberate Oakland and shut down the 1%."
Protesters at Occupy demonstrations nationwide generally have rallied against what they describe as corporate greed while asserting that the nation's wealthiest 1% hold inordinate sway over the remaining 99% of the population.
Occupy Oakland's call to strike follows a crackdown on protesters October 25. Police unleashed tear gas, and Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen suffered a fractured skull after being struck in the head by what protesters say was a tear gas canister.FULL STORY