Occupy Oakland Protester Hurt, Police Criticized

Downtown Oakland, Calif., has settled down after a violent Tuesday night, when police clashed with protesters with the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Protestors in Oakland, California gathered again in front of City Hall. Oakland's Occupy Wall Street last night was much more peaceful than the night before, when police used tear gas and non-lethal bullets to disperse the crowd. The confrontation left one protester hospitalized and it left allegations of excessive police force under investigation. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: Protesters by the hundreds streamed into Oakland's downtown city hall plaza.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: They tried to shut us down but we're here again.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

KAHN: This woman, who didn't give her name, was one of many speakers who condemned the police's actions of the night before. Many urged protesters to remain nonviolent. One speaker, who only gave her name as Dee, said it was important to stay focused on the larger issue of income inequality and corporate greed.

DEE: It's about a whole global corrupt system, so let's keep our eyes on the prize, y'all.

KAHN: However, other speakers urged more confrontational tactics. Many were angry over what they said was excessive force by Oakland police. One protester remains hospitalized after being struck by a non-lethal projectile fired by officers. A video of the man bleeding from the head has been circulating on the Internet. Interim Oakland police chief Howard Jordan defended his officers' actions.

HOWARD JORDAN: We take appropriate action. Our job is to protect life and property and make sure that the citizens of Oakland are safe.

KAHN: Jordan did say that the incident involving the hospitalized protestor is being investigated with the highest priority. Carrie Kahn, NPR News, Oakland.

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