Wall Street Protests Shut Down Parts of Oakland

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Occupy Wall Street protests took a violent turn Wednesday night as protestors in Oakland, Calif., clashed with riot police.

Earlier that day, protestors shut down one of the busiest ports in the country, costing the city thousands of dollars.

A crowd of protestors also marched through downtown Oakland hoping to break into a vacant building. Along the way, they shattered windows, sprayed graffiti and set bon fires in the street.

"This is what angry, common, ordinary people look like!" exclaimed David Witkin, one of the protesters.

Police in riot gear set off flash bangs and used tear gas to try and control the crowds.

Dozens of people were arrested.

An earlier protest was mostly peaceful, except for a small group who vandalized a Whole Foods store and a bank.

One man took pieces of the busted window as a souvenir.

"A part of this bank belongs to me too. So this is a little piece that belongs to me and my family and my people here," Geraldo Dominguez said.

Protestors later blocked roads and shutdown the Port of Oakland, one of the nation's busiest shipping ports.

The closure caused workers to miss shifts and the city to lose tax revenue.

One of the protest leaders admitted the goal was to, "Stop the flow of capital."

Big labor unions were also out in force supporting the demonstrators.

"If the young people can start hooking up with the port workers, the truck drivers, making common cause -- I think they'll have a sustained and growing movement," said Craig Merrilees, communications director of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

The atmosphere at the port was part party, part pep-rally. So what exactly were they protesting and what's the message?

"We make $200. We can't survive on this money. The rich are growing richer. The poor are going down," explained Mann Singh, a truck driver.

"We lost our house because of a bad bank deal," protestor Susana Gome told a reporter.

"I'm here because I want my daughter's generation to have education. I don't want hers to be the first one that does worse than her parents," said Tara Sumanaseni.

Normal operations at the Port of Oakland have resumed and workers have returned to their jobs.

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Tyler James

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Tyler James writes and produces stories for CBN's daily newscasts and The 700 Club.  He also served as a photographer and field editor during the 2008 presidential race, covering campaign stops, both conventions and election night parties.

Tyler received his Bachelors of Arts in telecommunications with an emphasis on broadcast journalism from Oklahoma Baptist University.