Occupy Oakland Calls for Day of Protest - NBC Bay Area

Occupy Oakland Calls for Day of Protest

Day of Protest stayed loud, but peaceful in Oakland Monday.



    Occupy Oakland Calls for Day of Protest
    Oakland Police officers stand guard as other officers arrest a protester during an anti-police protest by Occupy Oakland, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, in Oakland, Calif. Oakland police said they arrested about 300 people Saturday as protesters spent a portion of the day trying to get into a vacant convention center, and later broke into City Hall and tried to occupy a YMCA. (AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)

    Occupy Oakland protesters converged on Frank Ogawa Plaza Monday afternoon, where tense confrontations with police occurred over  demonstrators' use of a loudspeaker.

    The protesters began gathering at the plaza at noon, using an  amplified sound system they did not have a permit for, according to police.

    Meanwhile, dozens of counter-protesters who oppose the Occupy  Oakland movement gathered for a quiet demonstration on the steps of City  Hall.

    Around 12:30 p.m., police used their own loudspeaker to inform the  Occupy Oakland group, which consisted of about 100 people, that they could  not use amplified sound.

    Police gave them a five-minute warning before officers in riot  gear moved in and confiscated the protesters' sound system.

    Oakland police spokesman Officer Jeff Thomason said no arrests  were made.

    Brian Glasscock, 20, who identified himself as a Laney College  student studying baking and pastry, said it was his sound system that was  seized. He said the equipment is worth between $700 and $1,000, and worried  whether he would get it back.

    Glasscock said police haven't cracked down on amplified sound  during past protests, and wondered why they did so today.

     "We don't think we need a permit to be in a public space for  peaceful assembly," he said.

    Police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said police sometimes allow  amplified sound without a permit, especially if the activity is not  disrupting business or eliciting complaints. Today, she said, businesses near  the plaza were complaining about the noise.

    Occupy Oakland protester Adam Katz noted that there were more than  three-dozen officers at the plaza this afternoon. He said police should be  focusing on investigating several shootings that occurred over the weekend  rather than monitoring protests.

    Daud Abdullah, an Oakland resident who was part of the  counter-protest, agreed that police resources would be better spent elsewhere  but blamed the protesters.

    He said he lives in Maxwell Park and that police have been too  distracted by Occupy protests to crack down on drug dealing in his  neighborhood.

    "Oakland residents are fed up with the whole movement and what  goes along with it," Abdullah said.

    He said the leaders of Occupy Oakland should get rid of the  violent fringe elements of their group.

     Paul Junge, public policy director for the Oakland Metropolitan  Chamber of Commerce, was also part of the counter-protest, which he said was  organized by the group Stand for Oakland.

    "Causing vandalism, distracting police ... we've had enough of  that," Junge said. "It shouldn't be destructive to the city."

    This afternoon's protest follows a smaller gathering this morning  at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse, where 10 Occupy Oakland protesters were  arraigned on charges stemming from a Jan. 4 demonstration.

    About two-dozen protesters gathered at the courthouse for the  hearing, drinking coffee and eating bagels and bacon next to a sign outside  the courthouse that read "Bacon Not Pigs."

    After the hearing protesters' attorney, Frank Viola of the  National Lawyers Guild, said the fact that the protesters are only being  charged with obstructing a sidewalk indicates to him that there's not much of  a case against them and that the arrests are "a thin attempt to violate their  civil rights."

    Viola said the demonstrators were only "raising their voices for  the 99 percent" and speaking out against inequality.

     "This is a political struggle, and we'll fight in the streets and  fight in the courts if necessary," Viola said.

    Shortly after 1 p.m. Occupy Oakland protesters began marching back  to the courthouse.