Police Occupy Oakland – Just 12 hours after police dismantled the Occupy Oakland tent city in a peaceful predawn raid, about 700 protesters returned to the civic center plaza Monday evening, vowing to keep their movement alive but undecided about whether to defy police and retake the site of their monthlong protest.
“Regardless of what they do to that encampment, this awoke something in all of us,” said Iris Arcenciel, 26, of Alameda, a member of Occupy Oakland’s media committee who advocated for retaking the plaza. “The important thing to remember is civil disobedience.”
Protesters kept talking late into the evening Monday, planning their next moves as police officers stood by and vans filled with law enforcement backup waited around the block, poised for problems. Most protesters leaned toward re-occupying the plaza while others pressed for taking over foreclosed buildings.
Unlike recent Occupy Oakland efforts, the demonstration was not marred by violence.
Thirty-two protesters who refused to leave the encampment after they were ordered to disburse were taken into custody in the early morning darkness Monday by officers in riot gear. One more was arrested later in the day on charges of spitting at police.
In their second attempt to evict Occupy Oakland from the civic center plaza since it was erected Oct. 10, officers from about a dozen agencies gathered at 2 a.m. Their staging area was the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, about seven miles away.
By 5 a.m., they were at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, the heart of downtown Oakland, dismantling tents and arresting protesters. Streets surrounding the civic center were blocked. Downtown Oakland awoke to helicopters hovering.
Occupy protesters were warned that “absolutely no lodging” would be permitted on city property moving forward. By daylight, the plaza had been cleared of live-in demonstrators. Tents — minus their poles — sagged in the former encampment that once was home to hundreds.