Just to clarify, despite what you heard on the news about Oakland on Saturday, Jan. 28, the police did not let protesters leave after dispersal order was given. The law states if the protest moves (and it did) to a different location, another dispersal order must be given. Then the police must provide at least two exits.
When the dispersal order was given at 19th & William St., I immediately went to an officer and asked how to comply & was told to back up (they were in riot gear with batons and guns drawn) one officer suggested I try the other side of the plaza. At this point I could see 3 of my 4 exits were blocked by riot police. I went to the corner I could not see & there was another line of riot police. I was waiting by them when the tear gas & pepper bullets were fired. I turned and went to the line of riot police behind me and proceeded to sit in front of them, requesting to exercise my right to leave and was refused. I was suffering form the effects of the tear gas at this point, my throat had closed, my eyes were tearing and burning. Eventually they left chasing protesters who had pushed down a chain link fence to leave the area. I remained sitting on the sidewalk, shocked.
I went home at this point and watched the rest on live streaming video.
The demonstration moved to 23rd & Broadway (YMCA) and this is where the police surrounded the protesters, many tried to run through the YMCA, allowed in by employees, to the back exit. The police surrounded the area and announced that EVERYONE was under arrest.
It's was stated by police Chief Jordan, that dispersal orders were give at least three times and the protesters did not leave. In fact, when dispersal orders were given at 19th and William St., people tried to leave, at least I was illegally prevented from leaving.
Please take what you see on TV with a grain of salt, talk to someone who was there if you can, when a story is presented. In our world of instant social media you can now easily make friends with people in Syria, Egypt & Bahrain. I encourage you to use this resource to connect with real people who are witness to the events unfolding around us.