Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Police Clear Occupy Oakland Encampment, but Protesters Return / Jim Wilson/The New York Times / ICH

Police Clear Occupy Oakland Encampment, but Protesters Return

Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Some of the protesters, like Cornell Harris, just moved their tents a few blocks away to a satellite encampment at Snow Park.

OAKLAND, Calif. — Protesters returned to a downtown plaza Monday evening, after hundreds of police officers raided the Occupy Oakland encampment there early Monday, arresting 33 people and flattening tents.


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Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Officers arrested a man at the Occupy Oakland camp. After a series of warnings over the weekend, police closed the camp early Monday morning and arrested protesters who remained.
The police action came after city officials had issued several warnings for protesters to abandon the camp in the wake of a fatal shooting near it last week.
The raid was the second on the encampment, at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, one of hundreds of tent cities around the country inspired by Occupy Wall Street.
Despite increasing tensions between Oakland officials and the campers, there were no injuries Monday morning. City employees worked to clear the plaza of tents, tarps and other belongings.
At a news conference, Mayor Jean Quan said dismantling the encampment was necessary to protect protesters, citizens and nearby businesses. “We had to bring the camp to an end before more people were hurt,” she said.
City officials reopened the plaza Monday night and hundreds of protesters regrouped in their former campsite. The police said camping or sleeping there would be strictly prohibited. “There will be a strong police presence at the plaza 24-7,” said Chief Howard Jordan of the Oakland Police Department.
A satellite camp in nearby Snow Park has swelled in recent days to about 30 tents, which the police say they will clear out.
In Vermont, an encampment at City Hall in Burlington was mostly gone after a 16-day occupation.
“All of the tents have been removed,” said Joe Reinert, an assistant to Mayor Bob Kiss. “That occurred mostly through the weekend and today, with the cooperation of the folks who had been there in the first place.”
Protesters were asked to close the Burlington camp after a 35-year-old man died there Thursday of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot.
“The city ultimately decided that camping really presented safety risks,” Mr. Reinert said.

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