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Right of Way: Mercedes Sedan Strikes 2 Occupy Oakland Protesters

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By HVnews on November 3, 2011

Wall Street may be the center of the #Occupy universe, but Oakland has been the PR arm. More actual news has come out of Oakland over the past few weeks than anywhere else in the movement.

On a busy day and night in Oakland, thousands of protesters marched through the downtown area and blocked entrances to banks before effectively shutting down the city’s port, the fifth busiest container port in the United States. The police, per Mayor Jean Quan’s request, kept a low-profile.

The protesters had called for a citywide general strike — some businesses shut down, some workers called out in solidarity. And it was a peaceful day of protests, until late in the evening (early Thursday morning), when about 70 protesters began rousing rabble and started a big bonfire downtown. At that point, police moved in and arrested “dozens of people.”

But the news of the night belonged to a Mercedes-Benz sedan, which struck two protesters on Broadway. According to police, the driver had the right of way, with a green light, but the protesters wouldn’t let the car through. The frustrated driver decided to go anyway. The SF Chronicle has more:

The two people who were hit, a man and a woman, suffered leg and ankle injuries that were not life-threatening, said BART Police Deputy Chief Daniel Hartwig. They were taken to Highland Hospital.

As the driver left, many in the crowd yelled at him and at police, saying he should have stayed at the scene or been arrested.

The incident happened when the driver was heading south on 11th and was blocked by streams of marchers walking along Broadway, witnesses said. He had a green light, but could not get through.

Hartwig said witnesses had differing accounts of what happened, with some saying the driver appeared to have gunned the Mercedes into the victims in frustration and others saying he had been provoked by activists pounding on his car.

The driver’s just lucky he or she didn’t get pulled from the car and vigilante’d.


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