Occupy Oakland, Don't Pee on Oak Tree

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    A protester affiliated with the "Occupy Wall Street" protests stands with a US dollar bill taped over his mouth in Zuccotti Park in New York, on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Andrew Burton)

    "Occupy Oakland" demonstrators who converged on Frank Ogawa Plaza on Monday afternoon remained camped out in front of Oakland City Hall this morning.

    Dozens of tents dotted the lawn, and about 75 people gathered under a large tarp at the camp to discuss logistical plans for the open-ended protest.

    A homeless protester who gave his name only as Adam explained that there is no one in charge of the movement or the camp. He said that about 1,000 people attended Monday night's general assembly.

    Another general assembly is planned for this afternoon.

    According to Lolo Schiener, an unemployed 27-year-old Berkeley resident with a master's degree in speech pathology, the group has been receiving a steady stream of donations that will allow them to continue occupying the plaza.

    "We have a lot of food," she said. "A lot of people have been donating food and money."
    The group has also been giving food to the homeless and those who ask for it.

    As with similar occupations occurring across the Bay Area and the nation, the amorphous movement has attracted many different types of demonstrators.

    Some protesters had signs, two of which read, "We do not consent to corporate oligarchy," and "Bail out schools, not banks."

    Schiener explained that heated debates are occurring at the camp on myriad topics, from "houselessness" to the Black Panthers to police brutality.

    Although Adam said a police K-9 unit had patrolled the camp around 3 a.m., there were no police in sight as of 11:30 a.m.

    Oakland Mayor Jean Quan addressed the camp this morning and condoned the occupation but asked that campers not urinate on plaza's large oak tree, because she said it has shallow roots.