occupy oakland
© John Sasaki?KTVU

Wearing masks and wielding halved garbage cans like shields, roughly 250 Occupy Oakland protesters marched through the city Saturday afternoon on their way to establish a new headquarters at an undisclosed vacant building in Oakland.

Backing up the promises made days before, Occupy Oakland organizers rallied at Frank Ogawa Plaza at noon Saturday in order to march to an undisclosed vacant building that activists said would provide the movement's new home.

Once there, organizers said they would kick off a two-day "Oakland Rise-up Festival" to celebrate the establishment of the movement's new social center, meeting and resting place.

During the rally one of the organizers, Shake Anderson, said, "We are here to protect each other and to be civil disobedient. ... We're doing it to change the world, not just today but every day."

The march started just after 1:30 p.m., with dozens of police nearby in riot gear.

The protesters were walking through Laney College around 2:30 p.m.

Some people were wearing bandanas over their mouths and others were holding signs saying, "We are the 99%." A marching band dressed in pink and black tutus and neon pick tights also was in the crowd.

Minutes before 3 p.m., marchers attempted to break through the fences surrounding the former Henry Kaiser Convention Center near the Oakland Museum. In response, police declared the march an unlawful assembly and fired smoke grenades at the crowd.

Marchers turned around and rallied once again at 12th and Oak streets, where they were boxed in by police officers in riot gear.

Around 3:20 p.m., police once again declared an unlawful assembly and began firing smoke grenades. Some protesters reported having officers fire rubber bullets.

Protesters retreated once again, moving to 12th and Alice streets, and police began "running-and-rushing," capturing protesters and arresting them individually.

At about 3:45 p.m., the crowd still had not dispersed around the intersection of Jackson Street and 12th Street.

A line of police began pushing toward protesters and demonstrators retreated to Frank Ogawa Plaza, where they have congregated since 3:50 p.m.

According to an Oakland police spokesman, police made 19 arrests. Ten of those arrests were made at 10th and Alice streets where police clashed with protesters and threw tear gas and flash bang grenades at the crowd. Two officers were injured in the scuffle and one required stitches.

On Wednesday, when organizers publicly announced the move in front of Oakland City Hall, Occupy Oakland spokesman Leo Ritz-Bar said the group's new headquarters "signals a new direction for the Occupy movement: putting vacant buildings at the service of the community."

He also warned that protesters could retaliate against any repressive police action by blocking the Oakland International Airport, occupying City Hall or shutting down the Port of Oakland.

City officials said that while they are "committed to facilitating peaceful forms of expression and free speech, police would be prepared to arrest those who break the law.

"The city of Oakland will not be bullied by threats of violence or illegal activity," city administrator Deanna Santana said in a statement.

"This community has a rich history of community engagement and progressive activism to address the very complex issues that the protesters claim to stand for -- poverty, the housing crisis, homelessness, social justice, literacy, education and economic inequality -- none of which can be addressed through violence, threats or intimidation."

On its website, the city has provided a list of social programs that locals can support, from homeless and affordable housing providers, educational organizations, parks and sustainable food programs.