Well, Jean Quan didn't officially reverse her policy on Occupy Oakland, as anyone who attended last night's mayoral press conference will tell you. Rather, she winkingly implied that protesters would be left to their own devices, with "minimal police presence" to worry about, so long as they remained non-violent. But organizers interpreted Quan's statements as a direct swing of the pendulum to the other side. The tent city will reappear tonight. Participants are asked to bring hay and other necessary gear.
The Iraq War vet who was hit by a projectile at Tuesday's Occupy Oakland demonstration is currently in fair condition at Highland Hospital, The Guardian and SFGate report. Olsen's Uncle George Nygaard said the 24 year-old vet was acting as a "peacemaker" between protesters and police. He unwittingly became an icon of the movement, and an international news story. Last night Howard Jordan ducked questions about whether or not OPD had fired the object that struck Olsen in his right temple, indicating that it could have been another agency. OPD has maintained that it didn't use flash bang grenades or rubber bullets against Occupy Oakland on Tuesday, but protesters cite video evidence of such objects being fired. This harrowing video of Olsen's head wound has also been widely viewed:
Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. The Oakland school board voted 5-2 last night to close five schools at the end of this school year in a cost-cutting move, the Trib reports. The vote came after hundreds of parents protested the closure plan. Superintendent Tony Smith, however, noted that the district has way more schools than it needs and doesn’t have the funds to keep them all open. As the Express has previously reported, Oakland has far more schools than other similarly sized districts.
2. Occupy Oakland protesters returned to City Hall on Wednesday night, and called for a general strike for Wednesday, November 2, the Chron and Trib reported. Last night’s protest was mostly peaceful, as police allowed demonstrators to reconvene in front of City Hall. The Trib reports this morning that at least one tent went up in the old Occupy Oakland encampment. Mayor Jean Quan said at a press conference yesterday that the city would allow protests in front of City Hall, but not overnight camping.
Leave it to Jon Stewart to offer the funniest take on Occupy Oakland thus far:
Jean Quan won the mayor’s race last year in large part because of her liberal credentials. She and fellow progressive candidate Rebecca Kaplan represented a sharp contrast to the more moderate, law-and-order politician Don Perata. It was no surprise, then, that Oakland moderates started criticizing Quan almost as soon as she took office in January. They complained loudly that she’s too soft on crime and isn’t doing enough to stem the violence in Oakland. But if yesterday’s over-the-top police response to the Occupy Oakland protest is any indication, it seems that Quan has taken criticism from the law-and-order crowd much too seriously and has forgotten her progressive roots.
We'll post our breaking news coverage of the Occupy Oakland protest this evening, compiled from our Twitter feed and other sources. Keep refreshing to get the latest news.
UPDATE: Storify is down for maintenance from 8-9:30pm PST. So our live coverage will be on Twitter only. We'll update this feed as soon as we can.
Last night's Occupy Oakland protest — and the heavy-handed police response to it — didn't just make headlines in the local news; it was also the subject of national and international media attention, including The New York Times, Huffington Post, CNN, and Al Jazeera. (Videos on YouTube are getting tens of thousands of hits.) Here's a sample roundup of the coverage:
The Express will continue its ongoing coverage of the Occupy Oakland protests today. Protesters say they'll reconvene this evening at 6 p.m. at 14th and Broadway. As we did last night, we'll be Tweeting on the scene and posting live-time updates, including photos and videos, on our news blog.
If you've got any tips or comments, reach us at editor [at] eastbayexpress [dot] com.
Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. Oakland police and Occupy Oakland protesters clashed last night until about 1 a.m. today, after cops repeatedly sprayed demonstrators with tear gas last night in order to break up the crowd, the Chron reports.