Police Clear Out Occupy Oakland Camp; Dozens Arrested
OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Thirty-two people were arrested Monday morning in what appears to have been a largely peaceful police sweep of Frank Ogawa Plaza to clear out the Occupy Oakland encampment that has stood outside City Hall for weeks.
Police Chief Howard Jordan said Monday the police sweep at the plaza went more smoothly than the raid three weeks ago, in part because he said no one threw rocks at officers this time. Jordan said only nine of the people arrested were Oakland residents.
Another person was arrested around noon for spitting at an officer at 14th Street and Broadway.
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Police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said that in addition to spitting at officers, that man threw a gallon of water onto them and knocked down barriers at the plaza.
Jordan said that once the city finishes cleaning up the plaza, people can’t be kept away because it is a public space. But he said police will monitor the plaza all night to make sure tents aren’t set up again.
He also said that if anarchists show up Monday night trying to cause trouble, “We intend to have sufficient officers to arrest people who break the law.”
Jordan said officers from other agencies will be available again if necessary.
Monday morning, Oakland police were assisted by officers from the San Leandro, San Francisco, Hayward and Fremont police departments, and sheriff’s deputies from Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
“I’m very proud of the way the officers acted today,” Jordan said.
City Administrator Deanna Santana said Oakland is paying between $300,000 and $500,000 for Monday’s mutual aid.
Oaklandis paying in full for the assistance, since the raid was a planned event, Jordan said. However, if protests get out of hand Monday night, that would constitute an emergency and a mutual aid agreement would be activated, meaning Oakland wouldn’t have to foot the whole bill for the response.
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Crews were still cleaning upFrankOgawaPlazaearly this afternoon.
All of the protesters were gone from the plaza, except for Zachary Running Wolf, a tree-sitter who is perched atop a small wooden platform in a tree there.
Jordansaid police are leaving him alone for now as they look into what his legal rights are to be there.
Monday morning, he could be heard shouting from the tree, “This is native land. I’m not coming down.”
Mayor Jean Quan sounded hoarse as she spoke at a news conference, saying a number of protesters left the encampment voluntarily before police moved in.
“We met with multiple groups within the camp and asked them to leave,” Quan said. “Many of them have, and I want to thank them for that.”
She asked people throughout the Bay Area to respect the city’s decision to shut down the encampment, and refrain from engaging in “destructive acts.”
After the camp was raided the first time on Oct. 25, protests downtown turned violent, resulting in injuries to both police and protesters, and downtown businesses were damaged.
In response to a reporter’s question, Quan also briefly discussed the departure of her unpaid legal adviser Dan Siegel, who resigned over Quan’s decision to raid the camp Monday.
She said she and Siegel went to college together and sometimes disagree. “He’s moving on, I’m moving on,” Quan said.
The mayor admitted to being tired Monday. “As the mayor of Oakland, this has been a very difficult situation,” Quan said.
She said she believes the “Occupy” movement is morphing into a movement larger than just encampments, but that the protesters who were removed from Frank Ogawa Plaza Monday are trying to find private property to move onto.
In the meantime, some of the campers have relocated to Snow Park, near Lake Merritt. Jordan said there is no plan to raid Snow Park Monday.
He said police plan to remove people in the tents from the park eventually but that it’s not a high priority now because “Snow Park has never been a problem for us since there has been no violence or drug dealing.”
Rumors had spread among Occupy Oakland protesters that a police raid was imminent Monday morning, and protesters gathered in the street at the corner of 14th Street and Broadway early Monday morning to wait for police action.
Protesters announced on the Occupy Oakland website that they plan to reconvene at the Oakland Public Library at 125 14th St. at 4 p.m.
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