Occupy Oakland protestors burn an American flag found inside Oakland City Hall during an Occupy Oakland protest on the steps of City Hall, Saturday, January 28, 2012, in Oakland, Calif. The Oakland City Council on Tuesday declined to give the police more power to arrest and fine protesters.
Occupy Oakland long ago wore out its welcome at Oakland City Hall -- well before members of the so-called "Black Bloc" pried open the doors of government with a crowbar and burnt a stolen American flag.
Yet the Oakland City Council is not yet entirely united on presenting a new, harder, less-gentler front towards its local protesters, 400 of whom were arrested in downtown on Jan. 28, and some of whom plan another protest for Feb. 11.
The council failed to pass a resolution giving the Oakland Police Department extended powers over citizens who block streets or assemble without a permit, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Both are crimes currently, but both have yet to be enforced en masse against the Oakland Occupiers, the newspaper noted.
For now, the council and the Occupy movement will just have to hate each other under the current confines of the law. The meeting Tuesday consistently devolved into chaos, the Chronicle reported, with shouting, cheering, jeering and singing interrupting the proceedings.
"I am disgusted with the complete lack of respect you have shown," said City Councilwoman Pat Kernighan, according to the newspaper. "You are hypocrites when it comes to free speech. I have lost all respect for you."
Council members Ignacio De La Fuente, who sponsored the measure, Libby Schaaf, Jane Brunner and Desley Brooks all voted favor of the resolution. Rebecca Kaplan and Nancy Nadel voted no. Larry Reid and Kernighan both abstained, the newspaper reported.
The stricter enforcement is necessary in case the Occupiers block operations at the Port of Oakland again, according to the newspaper. The Dec. 12 shutdown led to millions in lost taxes and revenue, the newspaper reported.