Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. The Occupy Cal strike and teach-in drew up to 10,000 protesters yesterday, and by late evening, some demonstrators began pitching tents on campus in defiance of a no-camping edict by UC Berkeley officials, the Chron and Trib report. Hundreds of Occupy Oakland protesters also joined the demonstration after marching from downtown Oakland. Many Occupy protesters plan to march in downtown San Francisco today, demonstrating against big banks and large corporations.
2. UC Berkeley police officers shot a man whom they said was wielding a gun inside the business school, about a half-mile from the Occupy Cal protest. The Chron and Trib report that there is no evidence that the alleged gunman was connected to the Occupy protest and that the incident appears to have been coincidental.
Van Jones protegé Jakada Imani released a statement today announcing his decision to withdraw his nomination for port commission, which became the subject of a long, mean-spirited battle within the city council. Mayor Quan had selected Imani, over previous commissioner Margaret Gordon, both for his progressive street cred — he's the executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights — his West Oakland roots, and his clear, vested interest in the city's future. That raised the ire of council President and avowed Gordon supporter Larry Reid, who tried to block the nomination. Although Imani was, indeed, confirmed for the port commission on October 18, in a 5-3 vote, his appointment was nullified the same night, due to a procedural error. Tonight would have been his sixth council meeting to fight for the appointment. Frankly, he's tired of it.
Local activist Pancho Ramos Stierle was arrested early Monday morning for meditating in front of city hall during the raid on Occupy Oakland. Because of his immigration status, ICE placed a hold on his bail, the Chron reports. Stierle, who is 36, came to the US to study astrophysics at Cal, but dropped out because he objected to nuclear arms development, according to Chron reporter Demian Bulwa. You can find out more about him in this short video by journalist Josh Wolf:
Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. Between 600 and 1,000 Occupy Oakland demonstrators marched back to City Hall last night, but none pitched tents there after Mayor Jean Quan ordered a second raid on the encampment earlier in the day, the Trib and Chron report. There appeared to be no consensus among protesters as to whether they would attempt to reestablish the encampment this week. Some want to, but others are pushing for the occupation of abandoned buildings in the city. Quan said that police would remove tents if they were erected on the plaza. Occupy Oaklanders plan to return to the plaza for a General Assembly meeting on Wednesday night to map out their future.
2. Many Occupy Oakland demonstrators, meanwhile, are expected to join protests with Occupy Cal today, the Trib reports. A student strike and teach-in are scheduled for today at UC Berkeley. Protesters are demonstrating against massive fee hikes and police brutality when they attempted to establish an encampment at Cal last week.
Mayor Jean Quan told the Express this morning that the city plans to reopen Frank Ogawa Plaza by as early as 4:30 p.m. today. The mayor also said that if protesters from Occupy Oakland set up tents again in the plaza, then police will cite the demonstrators and remove the tents. “We’ll keep removing tents … like other cities have done,” she said. “We’ll take them down as soon as we can.” Oakland police also will monitor the plaza around the clock, although Quan declined to say how many officers will do so.
Oakland police, along with officers from numerous other Bay Area agencies, began to clear tents at Occupy Oakland this morning, although many occupiers had already packed up and left or had gathered at the intersection of 14th and Broadway near City Hall. Several protesters told news reporters that they planned to come back and reoccupy City Hall plaza. Others had moved to satellite encampments around the city, including Snow Park near Lake Merritt at Harrison and 20th streets.
Updated below: Some Occupy Oakland protesters who have been camping in front of City Hall have been pulling up stakes and leaving the encampment. A few of the occupiers, although it's not exactly clear how many, have decided to relocate to Snow Park in Oakland, a second encampment that has been much more peaceful. These occupiers plan to stay at Snow Park until they decide on where they want to remain for the long term.
The protesters who have been leaving City Hall plaza are said to have grown increasingly concerned about safety, particularly after the fatal shooting near the encampment on Thursday. And those who are nonviolent have grown frustrated that Occupy Oakland has not condemned or expelled those who advocate for violent, so-called Black Bloc tactics against property and police.
From Mayor Jean Quan: "Over the last few days, we have made real progress in encouraging groups of protestors to voluntarily leave the encampment and on behalf of the City of Oakland, I want to thank those who have responded to my call to voluntarily leave. Thank you, too, to our community leaders who have also called for the encampment to come to a peaceful conclusion."
Over the past week, Mayor Jean Quan has come under increasing pressure to forcibly clear Occupy Oakland from its City Hall encampment. Both the San Francisco Chronicle and Oakland Tribune editorial pages have criticized her for not doing so. The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Business Association have called for a forced removal of the encampment as well, arguing that it has hurt businesses. Five members of the City Council also want the encampment cleared by police. And at least one councilmember wants to a hold a vote of “no-confidence” on Quan for not ordering police to remove the camp by force.
But those calling for another police raid have yet to propose a viable plan for how to clear the camp peacefully and permanently. More police use of force will not only probably spark an angry protest and confrontation with cops, but it’s not clear how the city can keep occupiers from setting up tents again in Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Yesterday was supposed to mark a smooth and temperate 30-day anniversary party for Occupy Oakland, and instead it erupted in violence, after a young man was fatally shot near the encampment at Broadway and 14th Street. This morning Oakland police issued an open letter to Occupy Oakland, urging the protesters to stop exhausting the city's already limited law enforcement resources. "Yesterday’s murder was Oakland’s 101st homicide of 2011," the letter read. "It is time for us to stop directing all of our efforts at policing the small enclave of “Occupy Oakland” and get back to our job of protecting the citizens of Oakland in the neighborhoods where our residents live." The cops also beseeched occupiers to leave the encampment peacefully, in order to preempt another forcible incursion.
LOL city. The faux-pundit has thus far largely avoided discussing police violence against occupiers, but apparently what went down two days ago in Berkeley — or as he calls it, "this slow-food, locavore, patchouli super-fun granola dumpsite" — was just impossible to ignore. Now if only he could learn how to pronounce "Sproul" properly.