Mayor Wants to Deal With Occupy Oakland

Oakland's mayor says she doesn't know what a deal would look like but she wants to get Oakland moving again.

What started off as peaceful protests in Oakland Wednesday ended with a a series of arrests and an officer bitten.

Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said no arrests were made from 7 a.m. to midnight on Wednesday.

But by sunrise a total of 80 people were arrested, three officers were injured and another was bitten.

Assistant to the City Administrator Karen Boyd said at midnight things turned violent. A small group kicked off the evening at 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

There were reports that protesters had occupied a building and armed themselves with rocks and bottles. Jordan displayed some of the items his officers were pelted with during a news conference (see photo).

Jordan said he instructed officers to develop a plan to remove the protesters but his officers were pelted with rocks, bottles and m1000's.  He said officers also had bottles, a sledge hammer, a bike lock, and a chisel thrown at them. 

The group made a human scrimmage line trying to prevent officers into the plaza, according to Jordan. He said the goal was to allow people to leave, and while some did, officers were forced to arrest the others. 

Jordan made a point to separate the violent faction of the protests as a small minority of the 7,500 who walked the streets Wednesday.

He said while his department is still working to pinpoint the groups behind the violence he believes the damage was done by an anarchist group and not the Occupy Oakland contingent.

Public works employees worked through the night and continued into Thursday to get the city working again.

About 400 officers from 14 agencies responded and Howard said the police presence would be strong on Thursday to prevent further troubles.

Oakland officials said the city's priority is to return downtown to an operational state as soon as possible.

Mayor Jean Quan said the city's biggest challenge so far has

These are some items police picked up during Wednesday night's clash in Oakland, Calif., including a shield, sledge hammer and rocks. About 7,500 protesters participated in a general strike and shut d

 been trying to balance the right to protest while maintaining safety.

She said she feels like the city did that Thursday despite a small group who got violent.

"It shouldn't mar the overall impact of demonstration," Quan said.

 Quan also said she's encouraged that some Occupy Oakland protesters reached out to her office to share information about those who were acting violently. Occupy Oakland members previously had declined Quan's offers to talk with her.

But when Quan was asked how she planned to reach a peaceful resolution with Occupy Oakland who are still camping out in the plaza in front of city hall, she said, "I don't know" and "I wish I knew."

Meanwhile business owners and protesters began the clean up process Thursday.

City administrator Deanna Santana said that fire offiicals found several violations of city health and safety regulations when they inspected the Occupy Oakland encampment recently and they were "met with some hostility" when they tried to address the problem.
Santana said city officials were still calculating all of their costs in responding to the Occupy Oakland and encampment the past three weeks but last week alone there were $700,000 in extra police expenses. Several Occupy Oakland members said at a meeting Thursday that they disapprove of the violence that occurred late last night. At Tully's Coffee at 14th Street and Broadway, which had several windows broken, an Occupy Oakland member posted a sign that said, "We're Sorry. This Does Not Represent Us."

Police also released a photo (below) of a  group spotted walking in the 2100 block of Webster street wearing black clothing, some with masks, some with helmets, and some carrying sticks. 

They said after the photo was taken, the group was responsible for vandalizing the Whole Foods, Bank of America, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, and the UC Regents Office building (where sledge hammers were used in an attempt to break in). The group then de-masked and walked back into the crowd at 14th street and Broadway. 

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