A day later and a dozen miles to the east, the scene was quite different.
A day after Oakland erupted in confrontation between protesters and police, a group of more than 200 staged their demonstration peacefully on a busy suburban road in Walnut Creek. Officers in a couple of police cruisers watched quietly from the back lot of a Shell station across Ygnacio Valley Road.
No tear gas was deployed. No encampment on public land was targeted for breakup.
Carl Anderson of Oakland came to Walnut Creek Wednesday to carry a sign quoting the First Amendment, the right "peaceably to assemble."
Anderson said he wasn't with Occupy Oakland colleagues Tuesday when police in riot gear tried to clear the city park, but he was "shocked" by Oakland police tactics. He said he participated in an Oakland march Saturday and was struck by the police restraint.
Anderson said he went to 14th and Broadway in Oakland at 8 a.m. Wednesday and did yoga with some of the Occupy Oakland campers. In the afternoon he came to Walnut Creek to "support the good stuff happening east of the hills."
— not in numbers so much, but with more organizations involved and more participants coming from distant cities. A group of more than a dozen red-shirted union nurses joined the demonstration to ask for others' support in pressing the Kaiser administration not to reduce Registered Nurse positions at Kaiser Walnut Creek.
"We're here for our patients and to fight cutbacks," said nurse Natalia Starodynov.
At 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, some 230 protesters made their point at Ygnacio Valley Road and North California Boulevard. Most were gathered at the corner of the Walnut Creek BART station parking lot. The numbers were similar to protests the last two Wednesdays on Mount Diablo Boulevard in a heavily travelled shopping area.
By the BART station Wednesday, a sampling of the signs:
- Robber barons redux
- Stop deceptive political ads
- Wall Street $ out of Congress and White House
- America not for sale
Joe Ely of Pleasanton carried a sign to urge support for the California Clean Money Campaign.
Michael Kochowiec of Walnut Creek, age 71, in September returned from a two-year Peace Corps stint in Mongolia ("very corrupt government") to carry a protest sign expressing concerns about the influence of corporate money in U.S. politics.
Occupy Walnut Creek is due to be back, same place, same time, next Wednesday.
Fliers were distributed Wednesday in Walnut Creek for a recently scheduled protest, Occupy Concord at noon Saturday, Nov. 5, at Todos Santos Park. "Join the Contra Costa 99 percent in Occupying Concord … We will be marching from the park and demonstrating on the large banks and corporations nearby," the flier read.