Occupy Oakland (City Hall) came to a relatively peaceful conclusion as police dressed in riot gear cleared out the protesters’ encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza. The early morning raid came after a formal eviction notice was issued to protesters in what the City hoped would be a softer approach than was displayed on October 25.
But while the police action does not appear to have resulted in any injuries to protesters, it did cost Oakland Mayor Jean Quan at least one member of her staff, who resigned in protest. Dan Siegel announced via Twitter that he tendered his resignation effective immediately.
Despite some divisions in the City staff itself, the raid did clear the park for the time being.
Mayor Jean Quan announced in a statement Monday morning that the City was forced to act after protests lead to numerous complaints including drugs, sexual assaults, and even murder. In fact, the distraction of the Occupy protests kept the city’s public safety departments from responding to 179 calls for service.
“We took every step we could to resolve this peacefully,” said Mayor Quan. “We planned the removal as carefully as we could and made repeated attempts to make sure that all campers who wanted to leave voluntarily had the opportunity to do so.”
But the Occupy Oakland website took a different approach on the events. According to an update published at www.occupyoakland.org, tents were smashed and occupiers were arrested for not leaving the park. “Three [protesters] who refused to leave the camp and sat on the amphitheater stage meditating were also arrested,” reported the site.
“I’ve tried to do what is right for the City and for the safety of our people at every step,” said Mayor Quan. “I am asking for people – even those who disagree with this decision – to respect the City’s right to close the encampment and for demonstrators not to engage in destructive acts. It is time for us to work together on the issues that unite us.
Occupy Oakland called for an assembly of protesters and sympathizers at the City’s Public Library for later Monday afternoon to discuss their next steps, which could include re-taking the City Hall Plaza.