The Occupy Wall Street movement that began in New York City has spread across the country and caused major clashes with police in Oakland, Calif. Police moved in on protesters after they refused to leave a park where they'd been camping.
There are varying accounts of what exactly took place when police forced protesters out of the park; some say the police used flash-bang grenades, which make a loud noise and emit smoke to disperse protesters, while the police insist those were firecrackers thrown by protesters themselves.
Many of the protesters say they don't want their movement to become about resisting the police; instead, they want the focus to remain on inequality between the financial sector and "the 99%" of Americans who don't have as much money or power.
Oakland city officials say they ordered the police to move in on protesters because they thought the protesters' presence posed "significant risk" to the city.
"I made the decision with the team that was in place to put an end to what I see as a very critical situation that posed significant risk." - Deanna Santana, Oakland City Administrator
"If you're coming down here because you don't like the police, you're not coming down for the right reasons. You might as well just stay at home, unless you're coming down to get educated." - Mike Porter, protester
1. What is Wall Street? What is it known for?
2. What happened to many major U.S. banks in 2008, and what were the consequences?
3. Why are protesters participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement? What are they angry about?
1. Do you think Occupy Wall Street protesters should be allowed to keep their camps in city parks indefinitely? Why or why not?
2. Have you ever participated in a protest? What was it like? What inspired you to take part?
3. What part of the U.S. Constitution protects Americans' right to protest peacefully? Why is police intervention in protests sometimes controversial?