Occupy Oakland forcibly removed

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

By Shanelle Matthews, Communications Manager

This morning at 4:30 am Oakland Mayor Jean Quan gave the green light to the Oakland Police Department to dismantle the occupation at Frank Ogawa/OscarGrant Plaza under the pretext of sanitation and public safety stating,  "over the last week it was apparent that neither the demonstrators nor the City could maintain safe or sanitary conditions, or control the ongoing vandalism … We want to thank the police, fire, public works and other employees who worked over the last week to peacefully close the encampment."
What's left of the encampment after the OPD raid
Quan and OPD claimed to have worked with occupiers over the last two weeks in an effort to maintain peace and civility however this morning’s harmful and vicious raid which employed war-like tactics proves that the Mayor and the police department are not our friends and do not have our best interest at heart. The occupation site which had its share of sanitation issues was well organized and maintained, complete with port-a-potties, recycling, garbage cans, a hygienic kitchen where sanitizer and soap were used and a succession of volunteers who prepared hot meals for occupiers and the residentially challenged.

The police and public works agency trampled over and destroyed the campsite and people’s personal belongings. Among the rubble were children’s toys, boxes of food that were donated to the camp, tents, medical supplies and hundreds of pieces of art created out of protest.

Using military strategy and tactics to disassemble peaceful protestors (who have the first amendment right to assemble) has torn the lid of the Pandora’s Box that was opened here in Oakland years ago during the Vietnam war and the Black power movement. The tumultuous history Oaklanders have with civil disobedience, police brutality and political insecurity places us in a particularly precarious situation - more so than other cities that have been raided. Oakland police department has a long history of unlawfully killing innocent civilians under the guise of “protect and serve.” We’ve mourned the loss of countless Oaklanders who have been slain by police which makes it increasingly difficult to trust that they will not harm us during times like these.

OPD barricades 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland
The occupy Oakland arrestees are being held for $10,000 bail. It has been rumored that they will not be released until Thursday morning if they do not post. Occupiers are asking that you call the City of Oakland at 510-238-3141 and ask that this outlandish bail be revoked and protestors be released on their own recognizance.

For more information please visit www.occupyoakland.org.

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