Jean Quan Makes New Plea to Campers

Police and city officials still aren't giving a timeline as to when campers have to leave.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan made yet another attempt to get Oakland Occupiers to leave Frank Ogawa Plaza.

On Sunday, she issued a statement that claimed "real progress" in the effort to get the campers out of the downtown area and told them to leave immediately.

The latest statement from the mayor did not give a timeline as to what will happen next or what the consequences would be for campers who choose not to leave.

The message from Oakland police did come with a consequence. On Sunday Oakland police issued a third notice to campers that ordered them to get out.  It said campers face immediate arrest and the removal of their belongings.

Read eviction order here.

 Neither police or city officials would officially respond to requests for comment on whether officers were preparing to forcibly clear the camp.  

Campers who spoke to reporters Sunday said they felt like the raid would come within a day or two. Many noticed a new police presence at Frank Ogawa on Sunday with about a dozen officers walking around. Police officers have not been seen in the area on most days.

Police issued a similar eviction notice on Saturday which made it clear to protesters that they do not have permission to stay any other place in the city including parks like Plaza, Lafayette Square Park, Jefferson Square and Snow Park. Initially, it was thought campers could go to one of the other parks.

The only offer for another place to stay was a homeless shelter. City officials sent a shuttle bus to Frank Ogawa Sunday afternoon in hopes of taking people to a shelter, but few took them up on the offer.  

 Protesters were first issued a notice to vacate Frank Ogawa Plaza on Friday after a deadly shooting Thursday near the camp.  A man in his early 20s was killed about 20 feet outside the camp near Tully's coffee.  Police said one of the suspects was a frequent resident of the camp.

Similar warnings came ahead of a raid on the camp on Oct. 25. A protest that followed that raid included several disbursements of tear gas on to the crowd and dozens of arrests. One Iraq war veteran was seriously hurt during the protest when a projectile hit him in the head.

The following day Quan allowed the campers to go right back where they started. They have been there every since.

Here is what Quan said Sunday morning:

Over the last few days, we have made real progress in encouraging groups of protesters to voluntarily leave the encampment and on behalf of the City of Oakland, I want to thank those who have responded to my call to voluntarily leave. Thank you, too, to our community leaders who have also called for the encampment to come to a peaceful conclusion.

It is now clear to most Oaklanders that because of the increased violence associated with the camp and the strain on our city's economy and resources, now is the time for the encampment to end.

Over the past few days, Oakland Police have distributed notices asking campers to vacate Frank Ogawa Plaza. City staff continue to connect the homeless and hungry with services. They will again provide information about transportation to area shelters open today.

We have repeatedly given campers the opportunity to leave on their own and we urgently renew that call today.

Since the beginning, the City has tried to negotiate with the encampment. While we have been able to talk with individual groups, we remain one of the few cities where occupiers refuse to allow direct communications with a group of representatives.

Camping is a tactic. It is one that has divided Oakland, a city of the 99%. It's time to work together on the issues of unemployment, foreclosures, and education cuts.

While the camping must end, the movement continues.

Jean Quan
Mayor of Oakland

Also this weekend, Police issued a warning to members of the media,  noting that a member of the media had been assaulted while reporting on the shooting on Thursday. Police said an anarchist blog had also called for  violence on the media, and warned news personnel that their safety might be  at risk.

Oakland sent the following update concerning Frank Ogawa Plaza:

  • Another 8 to 10 tents have been voluntarily removed from the encampment since yesterday bringing the total down to approximately 150 tents.
  • At 4:30 pm, approximately 200 protesters marched peacefully from Frank Ogawa Plaza to Police Headquarters.
  • Public Works staff reset electrical power to lights on the Plaza that had been dark for several days due to high volume usage of extension cords tripping the circuits.
  • The City will be opening the winter shelter at the Army Base on Monday, November 14, a day earlier than originally announced.
  • The City’s Department of Human Services continues to offer homeless services outreach from Operation Dignity on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 pm to 6 pm.
  • Flyers with shelter options will continue to be delivered to people in the camp today.
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