Occupy Oakland Finds New Digs

Neighbors surrounding new occupied lot not happy with choice.

Sunday, Nov 20, 2011  |  Updated 10:35 AM PDT
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Occupy Oakland protestors moved their encampment after being kicked out of Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Occupy Oakland protestors moved their encampment after being kicked out of Frank Ogawa Plaza.

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The new Occupy Oakland camp at 19th and Telegraph didn't last long. A few dozen police in riot gear forced the campers out Sunday morning.

By 9 a.m. the vacant lot was empty again.

Police blocked off Telegraph at 19th and 21st Streets (near the Fox Theater)

An Oakland press release said:

Over a period of about 20 minutes, protestors dismantled tents and peacefully dispersed. As of the time of this release, there have been no arrests, no reported injuries, and minimal vandalism.

“Oakland, not unlike many cities across the country, supports upholding free speech and peaceful forms of expression, but the cost of the encampments is growing and putting a strain on our already fragile resources – police, public works, and other City staff,” said Mayor Jean Quan.  “We will continue to be vigilant and ensure that public safety remains our first priority and that our downtown businesses are protected from vandalism. We will not tolerate lodging on public property, whether in parks or open space; it is illegal.”

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After a march through city streets, Occupy Oakland demonstrators  took over a vacant lot and park in Oakland's Uptown neighborhood Saturday,  despite police warnings that overnight camping would not be allowed.

Demonstrators met in Frank Ogawa Plaza, the site of Occupy  Oakland's encampment for over a month, for a rally at around 1:30 p.m.

After marching through downtown Oakland and the nearby Lake  Merritt neighborhoods, the protesters gathered to hear speakers in front of  Lakeview Elementary School.

Oakland police estimated the march's size at around 700.

At around 5:15 p.m., around 400 protesters arrived at the vacant  lot near the corner of 19th Street and Telegraph Avenue, where  representatives of Occupy Oakland had announced their intention to establish  a new encampment Friday.

Demonstrators removed a perimeter fence on the lot, and entered  the area. Oakland police said the lot is owned by the Oakland Redevelopment  Agency.

Protesters set up several tents, and Oakland police said  additional officers were deployed to protect neighboring buildings.

Police said that the city's position remains that lodging will not  be permitted, however as of around 1 a.m. today the camp remained standing  with minimal police presence, according to video accounts by protesters.

Occupy Oakland's previous encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza was  removed by a joint operation of over a dozen police departments early Monday  morning.

Occupy Oakland has continued to convene in Frank Ogawa Plaza for  General Assembly meetings each following day, but has not attempted to  establish a new encampment, according to a statement by Mayor Jean Quan on  Saturday.

In that statement, Quan also said that following Sunday's raid on  the main camp in Frank Ogawa Plaza a smaller encampment in Snow Park,  overlooking Lake Merritt, had been allowed to continue by interim police  Chief Howard Jordan.

Quan said that the temporary camp was for campers who pledged to  be non-violent, and also said that the Snow Park encampment would be closed  on Sunday.
   
Bay City News

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