By Jim Kouri
Two police officers were hurt during an altercation with members of the Occupy Oakland movement on Monday in Sacramento, California’s capital.
The protesters were there to disrupt a rally by another group who were protesting violence by blacks against whites in South Africa. Although avoided by the U.S. media, several incidents of black-on-white bias crimes have enraged many in the U.S., Europe and South Africa.
A riot erupted Monday afternoon as California Highway Patrol and Sacramento city police officers were providing an escort for leaders of the group, the South Africa Project, to a parking garage following their peaceful protest outside the Capitol building, according to a police report.
As the police escorted the SAP members, about 50 or 55 members of Occupy Oakland began throwing cans and bottles at the South Africa group and at the police officers. The Occupy members then clashed with the officers as people with the pro-white group hurried into the parking garage.
Two officers suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital, according to the police report. One officer who was struck in the face by an object has been released from the hospital. The second officer was getting X-rays after apprehending a person suspected of throwing objects, the police report stated.
Three Occupy members were arrested and charged with suspicion of disobeying a law enforcement officer.
The protesters ended the violence when faced with a large number of law enforcement officers who responded to the scene wearing riot gear, the report stated.
Members of the South Africa Project said they are merely attempting to draw attention to the alleged black-on-white violence in that country. SAP organizers stated that similar demonstrations were planned in other states and elsewhere in California.
Many of the Occupy protesters, some wearing hoods or masks, claimed they traveled from the San Francisco Bay area to confront “a racist group affiliated with former Louisiana Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.”
However, there are no indications that SAP is affiliated with either David Duke or white supremacists.Occupy protesters had been cursing at the South Africa Project rally and at officers keeping the two sides apart.
The public was being kept away from the scene of the confrontation by police officers, who were not commenting to reporters. The city’s light rail system was stopped through the section of downtown where the clash occurred, and commuters were not allowed to leave the area.
Earlier in the day, a 17-year-old girl with Occupy Oakland was taken to Juvenile Hall after she became combative and assaulted an officer who asked her to pick up litter, the police report indicated.