Tree-Sitter Continues to Occupy Oakland

Well-known East Bay activist Zachary Running Wolf sits high above Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Monday, Nov 14, 2011  |  Updated 4:24 PM PDT
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Raw Video; Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan

Jodi Hernandez

Zachary Running Wolf refuses to end his occupation of Oakland. His supporters say he has supplies to last for at least a few days in a tree above Frank Ogawa Plaza.

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An early-morning police raid to break up the Occupy Oakland encampment has left Frank Ogawa Plaza devoid of protesters Monday -- except for one lone holdout who is perched in a tree.

Zachary Running Wolf is sitting atop a small wooden platform, tied to the tree, and is being largely ignored by police for the time being.

Police Chief Howard Jordan said at a morning news conference that police are leaving him be as they look into what his legal rights are to be there.

Monday morning, he could be heard shouting from the tree, "This is native land. I'm not coming down."
      
Running Wolf is a familiar name in the East Bay, where he has run for City Council in Berkeley and was involved in the lengthy tree-sit at the University of California at Berkeley several years ago to protest the removal of a grove of trees to make way for a new sports training center.

A protester on the ground nearby who identified himself as "Fireball" said Running Wolf represents the encampment's "best defense" right now.

"The cops can't get into the trees," he said.

Fireball said Running Wolf has enough food and water to last several days.

Meanwhile, cleanup crews were quickly clearing the remnants of the encampment from the plaza. The last tents had been taken down as of 11 a.m.

Oakland police Sgt. Christopher Bolton said those doing the cleanup are trying to salvage anything that appears to be worth more than $100, and are throwing out other objects.

City Administrator Deanna Santana said that the city hopes to have the plaza reopened for public use - camping excluded - by 6 p.m.

Thirty-three people were arrested when police raided the encampment early Monday morning, most for illegal lodging, Bolton said.  Of those arrests, fewer than nine were Oakland residents. The cost of the raid could reach $500,000 according to officials.

Bay City news contributed to this report.
 

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