14 November 2011
Last updated at 22:22 GMT
Police dismantle Oakland Occupy tents in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza
Police have shut down a camp set up by Occupy protesters in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza, dismantling tents and arresting 32 people.
The raid comes after police issued eviction warnings to the protesters.
Many demonstrators appeared to have left the camp and moved to an intersection, according to reports in local media and on Twitter.
A similar raid ended with police in riot gear arresting 50 people in Portland, Oregon on Sunday evening.
Police declared the Oakland plaza a “crime scene” shortly after Monday morning’s arrests and cleared media from the area.
Hours before the raid, a legal adviser to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan resigned, at 02:00 via Twitter, saying he supported Occupy Oakland.
The protest has been marred in recent weeks by repeated outbreaks of violence and a shooting incident.
Police calls for protesters to “cease and desist” increased after the shooting of 25-year-old Kayode Ola Foster near the plaza on Thursday evening.
Mr Foster’s family confirmed to police that he had been a frequent resident of the Occupy Oakland encampment.
Continue reading the main story
I don’t see how they’re going to disperse us. There are thousands of people who are going to come back”
Oakland police said witnesses have told them that one of two suspects in the shooting stayed at the plaza, but they have not released the names of either suspect.
Even as officials blocked the streets around the camp, some demonstrators said they would return.
“I don’t see how they’re going to disperse us,” Ohad Meyer, an Oakland resident told the Associated Press. “There are thousands of people who are going to come back.”
Johnna Watson, a police spokeswoman, told reporters the area was now a crime scene.
“We don’t want anyone to go through where we have to document property,” she said.
Mayor Jean Quan and other officials reportedly toured the plaza with police after it had been cleared.
Ms Quan has come under criticism for her handling of the last attempt to clear the protesters, in which a Iraqi war veteran was wounded.
Scott Olsen, 24, suffered a skull fracture on 25 October and became a rallying point for protesters across the country.
Mr Olsen confirmed on Google+ on Monday that he was home from the hospital.
“After my freedom of speech was quite literally taken from me, my speech is coming back but I’ve got a lot of work to do with rehab,” he said.
The Oakland Police Officers Association released a statement on Monday thanking the protesters for leaving the area peacefully, according to the Oakland Tribune.
‘No riot here’
In Portland, Mayor Sam Adams ordered the camp to be shut down on the grounds that “crime, especially reported assaults, has increased in the area around the camps”.
More than 100 tents were removed from the plaza on Monday
Using loudspeakers, police warned that anyone who resisted orders to leave the parks and surrounding areas risked arrest and “may also be subject to chemical agents and impact weapons”.
Demonstrators chanted “We are a peaceful protest”, “I don’t see no riot here, take off your riot gear” and “The whole world is watching”.
The protest began peacefully, witnesses said, but there were confrontations and shouting as police in riot gear attempted to move people out of the squares.
Police also moved in to evict protesters camping in the cities of Denver, Colorado, and Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday.
Seventeen people were arrested in Denver, police said.
Occupy Wall Street is in its second month of protest against corporate greed and economic inequality.
Tags: Area, frank ogawa plaza, jean quan, legal adviser, oakland plaza, Police, protest, raid, Riot, riot gear, US and Canada
Categories: The Western Press