Will Kane, Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
OAKLAND -- Protesters inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement plan to rally again in downtown Oakland at 6 p.m. tonight, with some saying they will try to retake the encampment outside City Hall that police dismantled early Tuesday.
Several hours after the raid on the camp, a march turned into a protracted street confrontation between protesters and police officers, who set off tear gas and used shotguns to fire projectiles designed to inflict pain but not kill.
Police said they had to protect themselves from protesters who hurled rocks, bottles and paint, and ignored orders to disperse.
Authorities have not released information on injuries from the clash. However, officials at Highland Hospital in Oakland said today that one protester, Scott Olsen of Daly City, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, was in critical condition.
The antiwar group said Olsen, a systems network administrator, suffered a skull fracture when he was hit by a "blunt object." Olsen joined the U.S. Marines in 2006, served two tours in Iraq, and was discharged in 2010, the group said.
Video footage widely distributed on the Internet shows a protester - identified by the antiwar group as Olsen - being carried away by others with a wound to his face. While he lay wounded, the footage appears to show an officer tossing a tear gas canister toward people trying to help him.
"I think it is a sad state of affairs when a Marine can't assemble peacefully in the streets without getting injured," said Jose Sanchez, executive director of the group. "We are pretty upset about it."
Olsen was unconscious when he arrived at the hospital and has only regained consciousness a few times since then, Sanchez said. Olsen was examined by a neurosurgeon, Sanchez said.
Police have not yet commented on the incident. Highland Hospital said it had no other patients from Tuesday's demonstration.
The protesters are upset about growing economic inequality, among other issues. The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that the country's top 1 percent of earners more than doubled their share of total income between 1979 and 2007, from about 10 percent to more than 20 percent.
This afternoon, the scene was quiet at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza, where an encampment that had a kitchen, a medical tent and its own security force was removed after 15 nights. Two groups mediated and did yoga while a third discussed how they might reclaim the plaza, which is still barricaded.
Some carried signs asking passing motorists to honk if they supported the Occupy movement. The honking was nearly continuous.
Some demonstrators, still upset over the removal of the camp, said they didn't intend to be indiscriminately violent. They also said protesters' had mixed feelings about tactics.
"Most say they don't want to get violent, while others say bring it on," said Casey Jones, 28, of Oakland. "We have to fight fire with fire."
Shop owners in the area were wary but optimistic that their stores would survive the expected violence.
"We were wondering about it last night, but nothing happened to the store," said Annette Williams, the manager of a nearby Goodwill. "So far, so good. I don't think they're looking to do violence, really. I think almost everyone in this crowd really just wants to put out their message."
Some protesters from Occupy Oakland were moving in today to the Occupy San Francisco encampment along the Embarcadero, at Justin Herman Plaza.
There, volunteer medical crews treated some who were hurt in Oakland. That encampment has about 50 tents, a medical tent and a communications center, and is also operating under the threat of removal.
Late Tuesday, San Francisco's public health department said the camp is an imminent hazard to health due to "evidence of excrement, urine and vomit."
Vale D., a 26-year-old Oakland resident who lost his job as a machinist, snorted when asked if he would take his protest from Oakland to San Francisco.
"We're not trying to run from here," he said. "We're here, this is our scene, we don't need to go to San Francisco."