OAKLAND (CBS SF) — About 500 Occupy Oakland protesters returned to Frank Ogawa Plaza around 5 p.m. Monday after it was re-opened by police but they didn’t make any immediate effort to set up their tents again.

The protesters held a general assembly to discuss possible future actions but the atmosphere was calm and the crowd had thinned out to about 200 people by 7 p.m.

PHOTOS: Occupy Oakland Eviction

Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said, “Things are very peaceful and we hope it stays that way all night.”

About 400 officers from the Oakland Police Department and seven other law enforcement agencies swooped into the plaza shortly after 5 a.m. Monday to remove tents that protesters had been living in for several weeks.

Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said Monday that his department would let protesters return to the plaza but would arrest anyone who tried to set up lodging, such as tents, sleeping bags or lounge chairs.

One of the speakers at Monday night’s general assembly proposed what he described as “a reclamation of space” but no specific plans were announced.

Other speakers said the group would meet on Wednesday to discuss future actions.

Occupy Oakland organizer Boots Riley, a rap singer with The Coup and the Street Sweeper Social Club, said that although Monday night’s meeting is calm there probably will be an effort to erect tents at the plaza again at some point.

But he said, “I don’t know when it will happen – it’s a matter of logistics.”

Referring to estimates that the city of Oakland spent between $300,000 and $500,000 to have other law enforcement agencies help Oakland police dismantle the encampment in the plaza, Riley said, “They can’t spend $500,000 every week and it would be very irresponsible for them to do that.”

Related Coverage:
Police Clear Out Occupy Oakland Camp; Dozens Arrested
Oakland Mayor Quan Adviser Quits Over Occupy Raid
Injured Veteran Plans To Resume Protests After Occupy Oakland Clash

He said, “We’re not going away” and “it would be smarter to let the tents be there.”

Riley also disputed claims by the Oakland Chamber of Commerce and many city officials that the lengthy encampment has hurt businesses in downtown Oakland by scaring customers away.

He said Occupy Oakland protesters did a survey of small business owners in the downtown area and “we have 35 businesses who say it (the encampment) has been good for them.”

Referring to one of the movement’s goal, Riley said, “We have the power of numbers” and he would like to force corporations who do business in Oakland, such as McDonald’s, pay their employees higher wages.

Earlier on Monday, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s legal adviser, Dan Siegel, resigned to protest Quan’s decision to raid the Occupy Oakland encampment.

Quan announced Monday night that Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu has also resigned effective immediately.

However, Quan didn’t disclose the reason for Cornu’s resignation and Cornu, the former executive secretary-treasurer of the Alameda County Central Labor Council, couldn’t be reached for comment.

In a statement, Quan said, “Sharon has been a tremendous asset to my administration. We wish her well and I’m grateful for her contributions. I will be restructuring my administration and making additional personnel announcements in the coming days.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (6)
  1. Mike Benson says:

    Please Do Not interview idiots that sit in trees.
    It is a very poor example for our children.
    Thank you

  2. Oakland Taxpayer says:

    reported on KTVU approaching 3 million, not occupiers, taxpayer dollars. One could only imagine what services could have been provided… and don’t call 911, police are busy in downtown awaiting the mayor’s call to … suppose the major and council will ask us taxpayers for another bailout soon.

  3. My OWS says:

    Boots Riley is not a voice for me at OWS. He is a misogynistic racist who loathes white people. How did he become a name associated with our movement? He has the same credibility as the Bey’s of Your Black Muslim Bakery. He will more than likely murder someone one in his lifetime. Do not trust him or listen to him.

  4. R says:

    Well Oakland if you don’t do something about these protesters than you will start loosing business, jobs, money and citizens like myself. I am already looking for another place to live. I am done with Oakland.

  5. hitr says:

    Use fire, and lots of it 🙂

  6. Phase206 says:

    I love it Keep GOing all the way

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