22 Arrested at Homeless Protest Outside Oakland City Hall

OaklandHomelessProtest
NBC Bay Area

Nearly two dozen people protesting the treatment of homeless people in Oakland were cited and arrested early Monday morning amid a protest staged outside city hall.

Protesters at the camp dubbed Housing Justice Village set up Sunday at Frank Ogawa Plaza near Oakland City Hall to provide a safe place for the city's homeless population and protest what organizers said are civil and human rights violations committed by the city. 

The protest grew to about 70 to 80 people and included about 25 tents, according to the city. 

City staff met with the protesters and informed them that the plaza would close as scheduled at 10 p.m. and that camping in the plaza overnight would be a violation of several city ordinances, according to the city.

Twenty-two people who stayed at the plaza past 10 p.m. were eventually cited for violating the plaza's hours of use rule and arrested for resisting or delaying arrest, the city said.

The protesters had been demonstrating most of the day Sunday, claiming the city is not doing enough for the homeless community.

Those who say they are forced to live on the streets believe they have a right to protest in front of city hall. They argue housing is a human right, and they say Oakland officials aren't doing anything to fix the homeless crisis.

"Housing and homelessness are the most urgent crises facing our community, region, and state," Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. "Our shared priority is to create more safe shelter spaces for our unsheltered residents and build more affordable housing immediately. Oakland supports every resident’s right to free speech and to protest peacefully in our city."

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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