Oakland Council Abandons Weapons Ban Vote Amid Protests

Councilmembers cut meeting short after repeated interruptions from protesters

By Kellie White
|  Wednesday, May 23, 2012  |  Updated 7:59 AM PDT
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Oakland Council Abandons Weapons Ban

AP

Occupy Oakland protesters do not want their ability to carry paint cans, hammers and other items.

Occupy Oakland protesters shouted down the city council on Tuesday, all over a proposal to ban certain weapons used by protesters against police.

The proposed ordinance would allow police to arrest people for carrying things like shields, clubs, hammers, paint projectiles and fire accelerants during protests. Demonstrators have used these items against police officers and to vandalize buildings during past Occupy protests.

According to the Oakland Tribune, protesters crowded into the Public Safety Committee meeting and repeatedly shouted down council members, claiming such a law would violate protesters' rights and leave them with no defense against police officers.

Several demonstrators cursed at Councilmember Pat Kernighan, the chairwoman and sponsor of the ordinance. Others threatened more violence if the measure is approved.

The four-member committee needed three votes to bring the law to the full council, but repeated interruptions from protesters forced council members to cut the meeting short without a vote.

Despite the hostile atmosphere, everyone left the room peacefully.

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