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American Shipper

Oakland port draws ire of war protesters

Oakland port draws ire of war protesters

A Saturday peace protest at Jack London Square called on Port of Oakland officials to stop shipping military equipment to Iraq and spend some of its $33 million budget on Oakland schools health care and social service.

   About 150 veterans and antiwar activists carried signs reading, 'Stop the War Machine' at a protest that also marked the fourth anniversary of a violent confrontation between antiwar activists and police in 2003.

   Twenty-five protesters were arrested at the 2003 rally after Oakland Police broke up a 500-people-strong antiwar rally with rubber bullets and tear gas, injuring dozens.

   All charges against the 25 arrested protesters were dismissed in 2004, and the city ultimately paid more than $1.25 million to settle 59 lawsuits filed over the injuries. The incident led to an Oakland Police Department ban on officers using rubber bullets for crowd control.

   The 2003 protest also called on the port to stop military shipments.

   Saturday's protest had plenty of police presence but remained well away from the orderly crowd and no arrests were made.

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