Upwards of 400 people were arrested on Saturday at a massive Occupy protest in Oakland–including at least six journalists. Mother Jones‘ Gavin Aronsen was among those arrested, despite presenting police with a valid press pass. His story shows that Oakland Police seemed to have learned absolutely nothing from their previous clashes with protesters, that drew worldwide criticism and helped galvanize the Occupy movement.
As soon as it became clear that I would be kettled with the protesters, I displayed my press credentials to a line of officers and asked where to stand to avoid arrest. In past protests, the technique always proved successful. But this time, no officer said a word. One pointed back in the direction of the protesters, refusing to let me leave. Another issued a notice that everyone in the area was under arrest.
I wound up in a back corner of the space between the YMCA and a neighboring building, where I met Vivian Ho of the San Francisco Chronicle and Kristin Hanes of KGO Radio. After it became clear that we would probably have to wait for hours there as police arrested hundreds of people packed tightly in front of us, we maneuvered our way to the front of the kettle to display our press credentials once more.