Alameda Meeting Over Rising Rents Erupts in Chaos; 2 Arrested

A meeting about rising rents and a possible moratorium on rate increases in Alameda erupted in chaos, resulting in the arrest of two men after they attempted to force their way into city council chambers and two city staffers were assaulted.

The special meeting held Wednesday night at Alameda City Hall got heated when renters who said they felt locked out of the dialogue and tried to get into the room.

After all the chaos, the council voted unanimously at 1:35 a.m. Thursday for a 65-day moratorium on no-fault evictions and rent increases above 8 percent within the last 12 months while additional ordinances protecting renters are being developed, according to Catherine Pauling, a member of the Alameda County Renters Coalition.

Before the vote, people in attendance said landlords came early and filled the council chambers, which left tenants in two overflow rooms watching video feeds of the meeting.

The tenants said when the video feeds failed, they gathered in the hall and began chanting to let renters speak. Police said two men then tried to force their way into the meeting.

In addition, two city staffers were assaulted, according to police.

Video posted online shows officers pushing through the crowd in the hall and taking a man down to the ground. The man's nose started bleeding when he was taken down, leaving blood on the floor.

In addition to the two arrests, police said an officer suffered bruises and the interim assistant city manager was hospitalized for his injuries. His condition was not immediately known, police said.

NBC Bay Area's Shawn Murphy contributed to this report.

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