Neighbors Oppose Plan For New Occupy Oakland Encampment

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Occupy Oakland leaders announced plans Friday to set up a new encampment in a park and empty lot near 19th Street and Telegraph Avenue but were met with strong resistance by many people who live in the area.

Maxine Holz said Occupy Oakland protesters plan a “mass day of action” on Saturday at which they will gather at 14th and Broadway and march to the space near 19th Street and Telegraph Avenue to begin setting up a new camp.

Holz said the camp would follow in the footsteps of the encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall, which was raided and shut down by police early Monday morning.

But a man who lives near the proposed new encampment site interrupted Holz at a news conference by saying, “Excuse me, we live here and this is not an appropriate place for a camp.”

The man said, “We don’t want a dirty, filthy tent and city.”

A woman who lives in the area and whose child attends the nearby Oakland School for the Arts noted that there was a fatal shooting near the previous encampment at Frank Ogawa last week and said she was concerned about “kids potentially getting shot” if a new encampment is set up near the school.

A man who lives in the area and has two children who attend the school said he’s “not comfortable” with having an encampment at the proposed new site.

Holz said some people who live in the area of 19th Street and Telegraph Avenue supported having an encampment there when an Occupy Oakland general assembly voted in favor of the new encampment Monday night.

But she admitted, “We will have a long way to go” in convincing everyone in the neighborhood to support the new encampment and said the plan might be reconsidered at a general assembly meeting Friday night.

The proposed new camp is adjacent to the Fox Theater in what Occupy Oakland leaders described in a press release as “the rapidly gentrifying Uptown neighborhood and entertainment district.”

Occupy Oakland leaders said they selected the site because it’s only three blocks from the site of the previous encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza and has lots of foot traffic, which will generate opportunities to interact with people who come to downtown Oakland.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said in a statement on Thursday that, “The Oakland Police Department has a strategy in place to prevent the establishment of any new encampment.”

Referring to the rally planned for Saturday, Quan said, “We anticipate some disruption to traffic, yet do not have specific details because of a lack of complete knowledge of how this will unfold.”

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Quan said, “I support the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and I am a passionate supporter of freedom of speech. However, camping on city property—whether it is in a park or in open space—is illegal and won’t be allowed.”

She said peaceful forms of expression and free speech rights will be facilitated but “acts of violence, property destruction and overnight lodging will not be tolerated.”

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


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