Occupy Elsewhere: Oakland Protesters Ignore Eviction Notice - NBC Bay Area

Occupy Elsewhere: Oakland Protesters Ignore Eviction Notice

You Don't Have to Go Home But You Can't Protest Here



    Standing in defiance of a city mandate to vacate Frank Ogawa Plaza, protesters with the "Occupy Oakland" movement are staying put near City Hall. NBC Bay Area's Cheryl Hurd reports from Oakland. (Published Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011)

    Hundreds of anti-Wall Street protesters defiantly remained at their campsite outside Oakland's City Hall early Saturday, despite a city order to vacate.

    As the 10 p.m. time of the city's ultimatum passed Friday night, Occupy Oakland demonstrators showed no signs of departing, as music blasted from the plaza. More protesters arrived with tents as midnight approached.

    There was no indication of significant police presence early Saturday. A lone Oakland police cruiser seen passing the site around 11:30 p.m. was greeted with waves from protesters.

    Many protesters said they have no intentions of leaving even though the city announced Thursday that it can no longer ensure public health and safety at the site.

    "I'm not going anywhere. They're going to have to come and take me away," said Christopher Dunlap, 23, who said he has been on the City Hall lawn since the first day of the encampment.

    On Thursday, Oakland city officials put the Occupy Oakland encampment on notice, informing the "several hundred" people living in tents on Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall that they must clear out, according to reports.

    The "tent city" has achieved a level of sophistication since it sprung up Oct. 10, according to the San Francisco Chronicle -- there's a medical tent, a cooking area, and even a school. But after 10 days -- and after a homeless man who allegedly assualted protesters was pepper-sprayed and beaten by protesters, who did not call police -- Oakland city officials' patience appears to be exhausted.

    In a document titled "Notice to Vacate Frank Ogawa Plaza" posted near the tent city in Oakland's downtown, Oakland officials say they support free speech -- but that protesting in front of City Hall is allowed only from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    "We believe that after 10 days, the City can no longer uphold public health and safety," the document said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "In recent days, camp conditions and occupants' behavior have significantly deteriorated, and it is no longer manageable to maintain a public health and safety plan."

    Oakland's Occupy movement is of a slightly different brand than others: protesters here have spoken of remaining for months, and have gone to lengths to establish their own society, even going as far as to block police from entering the tent city.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.