Cops Send Occupy Oakland Protesters Packing
Around 5 a.m. Monday, officers from several Bay Area law enforcement agencies descended upon the Occupy Oakland encampment and ousted protesters from the city’s Frank Ogawa Plaza, arresting 32 people who refused to leave and obliging movement members to regroup and consider their next steps.
The mass eviction happened peacefully, at least as the Oakland Police Officers Association saw it. That union released a statement expressing its gratitude to demonstrators, other law enforcement agencies and city officials, with one glaring exception: Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. The mayor’s handling of the protest also caused her to lose an important ally in legal adviser Dan Siegel, who publicly resigned shortly after the raid Monday morning.
Quan tried to placate critics by claiming to support the movement but not the encampment, insisting that they are not one and the same. –KA
A legion of law-enforcement officers converged in the predawn hours on the tent city outside City Hall at 14th Street and Broadway. As the sun rose, the camp was dismantled, with officers removing tents and leading protesters away in plastic handcuffs. Other demonstrators, meanwhile, sang and marched on the street as other officers kept watch from behind metal barricades.
At a news conference after the raid, Quan said the camp had to be removed because it “began to take a different path from the original movement. It was no longer about the abuses of the financial system, or foreclosures or the unemployed. The encampment became a place where we had repeated violence and, this week, a murder. We had to bring the camp to an end before more people were hurt.”