More Occupy events planned around Calif.

By Terry Collins

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Oct. 29 2011 12:45 p.m. MDT

Occupy LA protester David Angel Vargas flashes a peace sign outside Los Angeles City Hall in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct 28, 2011. Oakland's police chief on Friday defended officers involved in a clash with anti-Wall Street protesters, saying they used what they believed to be the least amount of force possible to protect themselves.

Nick Ut, Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. — More Wall Street protests were planned around California on Saturday, including in Oakland, where police and demonstrators faced off earlier this week in a clash during which an Iraq War veteran was injured.

A rally against police brutality was scheduled for 6 p.m. in front of Oakland's city hall, and a march was expected to follow two hours later.

The Oakland protesters also announced a strike on Nov. 2, when they will be urging banks and corporations to close for the day.

Protesters clashed with police on Tuesday after the encampment in front of city hall was cleared. Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old Iraq War veteran, suffered a fractured skull during that confrontation, and his plight has become a rallying cry at Occupy protests around the world.

Olsen remained in fair condition Friday at a hospital.

Fellow veterans say police fired an object that struck Olsen in the head, but authorities say the object has yet to be definitively established, as well as the person responsible for the injury.

Oakland Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan defended the officers involved in the effort to drive protesters from the encampment, saying they used what they believed to be the least amount of force possible to protect themselves.

"I want to ensure you that all allegations of misconduct and excessive uses of force are being thoroughly investigated," Jordan said.

His comments came on Friday, the same day that left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore rallied a gathering in Oakland. Moore addressed about 1,000 anti-Wall Street protesters, saying the Occupy movement has changed the national discussion.

"When was the last time in the last few weeks you heard them talking about the debt ceiling?" said Moore, the director of the documentary films "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Bowling for Columbine."

Meanwhile, the encampment at the plaza near city hall has returned and grown to about 50 tents, with organizers saying up to a thousand people were in the area late Friday with very few police in sight.

Across San Francisco Bay, protesters were encouraged to wear Halloween costumes for a Saturday march scheduled for 3 p.m. in San Francisco, where protesters are camped out in a city plaza.

Christine Falvey, a spokeswoman for that city's mayor, Ed Lee, said he wants to avoid the type of police confrontations that happened in Oakland but that the camp cannot remain for "too many more days" because of health concerns.

Events were also planned on Saturday in Sacramento and Los Angeles.

Farther south, police in San Diego descended early Friday on an encampment that had housed demonstrators at the Civic Center Plaza and Children's Park for three weeks. They arrested 51 people who faced charges including illegal lodging, illegal drug use, unlawful assembly and blocking officers from performing their duties.

San Diego police Chief William Lansdowne said negotiations with demonstrators had broken down and officers received no cooperation, leading to the overnight raid.

In California's agricultural heartland, officials were preparing to oust a group of about 30 demonstrators from next to a Fresno County courthouse. County officials said protesters had ignored some requirements of their permit, including limiting the gathering to about 20 people. They gave notice Friday that the permit would expire midnight Monday, and that demonstrators faced jail time and $500 fines if they remained.

Yet the movement in Fresno continued to gather support. Maria Torres, 86, said she worked with Cesar Chavez as an organizer of the farmworkers' movement in the 1960s and stopped by the encampment to boost morale.

"I'm too old now to do much, but I want to be a part of it," she said in Spanish.

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Watson reported from San Diego. Contributing to this report were Associated press reporters Tracie Cone in Fresno; Terence Chea and Jason Dearen in San Francisco; and Garance Burke in Oakland.

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