Do the mayors of, say, Oakland, Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles have each other on speed dial this week? That’s kind of what it looked like, with tensions between those city leaders, aided by creative interpretations of public property regulations, and their respective Occupy movements ratcheting up this week.
Of course, Oakland was the most troubling example of this apparent trend of push-back from on high against the occupiers. But by Friday, as news circulated about injured Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen’s improved condition, Occupy Oakland protesters had reasserted their presence near City Hall—a collective gesture that won’t be lost on Mayor Jean Quan. —KA
Update: Let’s add Nashville and San Diego to the above list, shall we?
Protesters began pitching the tents Thursday evening, according to Shake Anderson, an organizer with Occupy Oakland. On Friday morning, about 25 tents were up at the plaza near City Hall, where police armed with tear gas and beanbag rounds disbanded a 15-day-old encampment two days earlier.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan had issued a statement asking protesters not to camp overnight at the plaza.
“We believe in what we’re doing,” Anderson said. “No one is afraid. If anything, we’re going to show there’s strength in numbers.”
Earlier Thursday evening, a crowd of at least 1,000 people, many holding candles, attended a vigil in Oakland for Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen, who suffered a fractured skull Tuesday during a clash between demonstrators and police.
AP / Noah Berger
About 1,000 people turned out at a candlelight vigil for Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen on Thursday in Oakland. He was injured Tuesday in a confrontation with police.