Roving groups of an estimated 500 protesters targeted several buildings and led police to call for reinforcements from state police and six other forces, the Oakland Tribune reported.
The demonstrators are part of the Occupy Wall Street protest that began last year in New York over economic disparity and corporate greed.
After several protesters vandalized City Hall before being arrested, Mayor Jean Quan told KGO-TV, San Francisco, she has had enough.
"Occupy Oakland has got to stop using Oakland as its playground, and people in the community, and people in the Occupy movement have to stop making excuses for this behavior," she said.
Oakland City Council member Ignacio De La Fuente told the broadcaster he wants charges to reflect the severity of the protesters' actions.
"It's an escalation that in my opinion, basically amounts to domestic terrorism where people start taking buildings and costing the city an incredible amount of resources," De la Fuente said.
Police deployed tear gas and flash-bang stun grenades outside a YMCA building where protesters began throwing rocks, pipes and bottles at them, the Tribune said.
Early reports Sunday said at least three police officers and a protester were injured.
The last major Occupy violence in the city was in November, the Tribune said.