Berkeley Mayor Candidate Running Campaign From Jail

Perennial Berkeley mayoral candidate and frequent protester Zachary Running Wolf is running his current campaign from Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he's being held in lieu of $50,000 bail on four counts of felony vandalism for his alleged actions at a protest in Oakland earlier this month.

Oakland police Officer Nigel Lawson wrote in a probable cause statement that he saw Running Wolf, 53, identified in court filings as Freddie Lee Smith, spray painting in large yellow letters on the side of the Bank of America branch at 300 Lakeside Drive at a "Prison Strike"solidarity march in Oakland on the afternoon of Sept. 10.

Lawson, who filmed Running Wolf's actions, said when he located Running Wolf at Mosswood Park at the intersection of West MacArthur Boulevard and Webster Street two days later, he was wearing the same red San Francisco

49ers shirt he had been wearing during the protest.

Lawson said Running Wolf also was in possession of six cans of spray paint, which were recovered as evidence.

Running Wolf and three other men who aren't being held in custody -- Nicholas Mead, Keenan Marquis King and Daniel Gaylord Tutt -- are charged with four counts of felony vandalism causing more than $400 in damage.

They're scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on Oct. 5 for a hearing on that case.

Running Wolf is also scheduled to appear in court on Thursday for a hearing on charges that he violated his parole on a previous conviction.

His defense attorney Penny Trieu didn't respond to phone and email messages.

The Sept. 10 Prison Strike protest was held in support of a nationwide prisoners' hunger strike marking the 45th anniversary of the uprising at Attica Prison in New York State in 1971.

Running Wolf is one of eight candidates running in the Berkeley mayoral race in the Nov. 8 election for the right to succeed veteran Mayor Tom Bates, who isn't seeking re-election.

The other candidates are City Council members Laurie Capitelli, Jesse Arreguin and Kriss Worthington, as well as Ben Gould, Naomi Pete, Bernt Wahl and Guy "Mike" Lee.

In the 2006 Berkeley mayoral election, Running Wolf finished third with 5 percent of the vote.

In the 2008 election, he was one of three write-in candidates who received a total of 3.16 percent of the vote and finished behind Bates and former mayor Shirley Dean.

In the 2012 election, Running Wolf finished last in a six-person race with 3.71 percent of the vote.

In 2008, Running Wolf was active in the protest against University of California at Berkeley's plan, which was eventually implemented, to tear down a grove of oak trees next to its football stadium so that an athletic

training facility could be built. He served as a spokesman for tree-sitters who occupied the trees for a time.

During the Occupy Oakland protests in the fall of 2011, Running Wolf spent seven consecutive days perched in a tree in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall.

In his filing with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters Office, Running Wolf describes himself as an "Indigenous Elder."

Jail records list his race as American Indian and list his occupation as "Native Elder."

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