Oakland officials Thursday night ordered protesters inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement to vacate Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall, where hundreds of people have lived since Oct. 10 in an elaborate tent city complete with a kitchen, a school and a medical tent.
A document titled “Notice to Vacate Frank Ogawa Plaza” was posted on the city’s website at 8 p.m. by the office of City Administrator Deanna Santana. It said Oakland was committed to allowing free speech, but also had a responsibility to protect public safety.
“We believe that after 10 days, the City can no longer uphold public health and safety,” the notice said. “In recent days, camp conditions and occupants’ behavior have significantly deteriorated, and it is no longer manageable to maintain a public health and safety plan.”
The document cited fire hazards, sanitation issues, a growing rat problem and graffiti. It referred to an “increasing frequency of violence, assaults, threats and intimidation” and complained that protesters had denied access to “emergency personnel to treat injured persons and to police to patrol the Plaza.”
“As a result of these serious conditions, the Administration has determined that facilitating this expression of speech is no longer viable, nor in the interest of public health and safety,” the order said. “Peaceful daytime assembly will continue to be allowed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily. No tents or overnight camping permitted.”
The Oakland Occupation was basically a homeless encampment. I think that is the inevitable result of a promise of free food and a hassle-free (by the cops) camp site.
I think the idea of “occupying” sites 24/7 was one of the first mistakes made by the OWS leaders. Let’s see how well it holds up when winter arrives.