Hundreds of riot police from more than ten different police agencies have deployed forces in and around Frank Ogawa Plaza, where Occupy Oakland has been occupying for days. The forces began to amass around 3 am. They have surrounded the occupiers, who are standing their ground chanting, drumming and trying to wait out police like Occupy Portland waited out police one night ago.
Over three hours ago, a cease and desist order was issued and handed to media. A police buildup began to occur at the Coliseum and then the riot cops headed for the camp.
The occupation discussed what to do when the police arrived. Helmets, respirators and/or gas masks were donned by various occupiers. The smell of vinegar filled the air. Phone numbers for legal assistance were distributed to people in case there were arrests. One group that wanted to avoid being arrested left and took over 14th & Broadway. Riot police surrounded the demonstrators at the intersection.
Helicopters were circling the area by 4 am. Many in Frank Ogawa Plaza, which the occupation renamed Oscar Grant Park, had left and clothing and other items remained in the park. Riot police established a perimeter around the camp and the demonstrators outside of the camp. It was estimated by people like AlterNet’s Joshua Holland and Russia Today’s Lucy Kafanov that hundreds of occupiers remained.
BART closed the 12th Street station. A six block area was cordoned off. Barricades started to go up. As 5 am neared, it was, according to Davey D, impossible to get down to the scene unless you were already there.
The livestream has been pointing out all the riot police down near the plaza that have no badge numbers visible. It is impossible to know where they are from. This was one of the complaints from the previous crackdown—that police would conceal their badge and agency affiliation.
Firedoglake’s premier live blog continues now. The livestream from Occupy Oakland is embedded below. Here is a Twitter list to follow for the latest updates.
I will be following closely, but around 10:30 am ET I have to catch a train from Occupy Providence to Occupy Boston, which is the next stop on my New England tour of occupations.
11:05 PM Now news that Oakland Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu has resigned. She is the second member from Mayor Jean Quan’s administration to resign today. Presumably, the resignation is in response to raid on Occupy Oakland this morning.
Dan Siegel, the legal adviser to Mayor Quan who resigned in protest against the Occupy Oakland raid this morning, was on “The Rachel Maddow Show.” When explaining why Quan and the city thinks they can do to Occupy Oakland what they have done, he replied, “They just don’t see the scope of this movement. This is a tremendous movement.” He suggested it has the potential to remake American society
“This movement is the 99% and that the goals are really important goals that we all should be working for,” stated Siegel. And, for politicians and city officials around the country, he advised, “Go to the general assemblies, wait your turn to speak.”
10:12 PM Another example of how the Occupy movement is pushing politicians to actually take some meaningful action: House Democrats introduce a resolution to “reverse” Citizens United decision
10:07 PM Adbusters invites the Occupy movement to ponder how to keep the magic alive, especially since winter is upon us
9:37 PM Occupy Oakland is planning for another major one-day strike on November 19. A number of unions are expected to participate.
9:06 PM Now, here is the ABC7News stream with their aerial camera tracking what is going on with Occupy Oakland.
The occupation now has a General Assembly going as helicopters circle and shine spotlights on the occupiers.
8:52 PM ACLU of Northern California and the National Lawyers Guild files a lawsuit for the Oakland Police Department’s “egregious constitutional violations against Occupy Oakland demonstrators.”
On two recent occasions, October 25, 2011 and November 2, 2011, OPD and cooperating police agencies under their direction attacked the plaintiffs and other Occupy Oakland supporters who were peacefully participating in political demonstration. Police indiscriminately shot flash bang grenades, other projectiles and excessive amounts of tear gas into crowds of peaceful protesters. Police also fired other projectiles at individuals who posed no risk of harm, but were clearly engaged in First Amendment protected activity, such as filming police at a demonstration. This conduct violates the Fourth Amendment by subjecting protesters who posed no safety concerns to unnecessary and excessive force and violates the First Amendment by interfering with their rights to assemble and demonstrate.
The lawsuit asks for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction because OPD has shown by its recent actions that it will continue to violate protesters’ constitutional rights unless a court intervenes.
8:45 PM Occupy Oakland is back in Oscar Grant Park (Frank Ogawa Plaza), where they had been occupying until the city cleared them out this morning.
@Joshua_holland1 posts this photo:
8:25 PM Dustin Slaughter, who has covered Occupy Philadelphia closely, gives an account on the occupation’s decision to not relocate, a decision that may invite a police crackdown.
8:08 PM New York Times‘s Cara Buckley writes about the reality that the drumming in Liberty Square pales in comparison to the sounds of construction echoing through the district all through the night. (Her article also features a great introduction.)
4:36 PM Headed to Occupy Boston right now. Behind on my reports, as I have been blogging the action in Portland and Oakland instead of writing about my visits. I will catch up in the next day or two here and have reports on Occupy Madison, Occupy New Haven, Occupy Hartford and Occupy Providence.
4:35 PM Portland police chief is going to do a press briefing at 5:15 pm ET. (Watch here.)
4:29 PM There were 32 arrests at Occupy Oakland this morning during the raid.
4:28 PM Occupy Chicago will have to wait to interrupt Condoleezza Rice and Hank Paulson at the University of Chicago. They have postponed their speaking event.
3:49 PM Injured Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen’s first statement after being released from the hospital. He was hit by a tear gas canister at Occupy Oakland and suffered a brain injury, which has resulted in the loss of his ability to speak:
I’m feeling a lot better, with a long road in front of me. 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. Thank you for all your support, it has meant the world to me. You’ll be hearing more from me in the near future and soon enough we’ll see you in our streets!
3:38 PM Occupy Denver website informs “Denver Police Department is ticketing donors who drop off supplies for the demonstrators.”
Apparently a donation must be hand-delivered, and the car from whence the donation comes must be parked, not temporarily stopped with hazards flashing. Please park your car and walk in donations. If this is not possible, please contact us for assistance.
3:35 PM More on the raid of Occupy Chapel Hill participants who took over a vacant business and were raided by police and charged with breaking and entering. [Note: Reports claim they are not officially affiliated with Occupy Chapel Hill but are an independent group that took off and did an action on their own.]
3:27 PM Permit extension gives Occupy Detroit ability to celebrate their 1 month anniversary tonight:
12:18 PM AlterNet’s Joshua Holland posts his account of the second eviction of Occupy Oakland
11:52 AM An Occupy Cal occupier writes a rebuttal to UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau on what Birgenau told the campus community about the occupation.
11:40 AM Here is video from Occupy Portland standoff of demonstrators, who moved to Pioneer Square when police took over the two parks they had been occupying.
11:38 AM Collection of photos from the Occupy Portland standoff that happened over the weekend
11:35 AM Poster for Occupy Wall Street’s Day of Massive Direct Action on November 17 (produced by r. black)
11:23 AM Mayor Quan’s legal advisor Dan Siegel, a civil rights attorney, has resigned in protest against the morning’s police operation against Occupy Oakland. He tweeted:
Siegel also told the San Francisco Chronicle, “The city sent police to evict this camp, arrest people and potentially hurt them…Obviously, we’re not on the same page. It’s an amazing show of force to move tents from a public place.” And, he added, “I am really disappointed with the city,” Siegel said at the protest near City Hall. Oakland has become “the most hostile city to the Occupy movement. Where else are they having 600 police officers take down some tents?”
10:06 AM Crowd is mostly leaving. The plan is to reconvene at the public library at 4 pm for a rally and march. The occupation is not trying to battle police on the scene and try to take over another park area.
Right now, Mayor Quan of Oakland can be seen from an aerial camera on livestream talking to police in riot gear.
10:03 AM Police declare the plaza Occupy Oakland had been occupying a crime scene. Journalists/media are escorted away by police. (via @JournalismSandy)
9:36 AM Both Al Jazeera English and The Guardian have live blogs up and running. The raid is getting massive amount of media attention (MSNBC, ABC News, all major newspapers, etc posting reports on Internet).
9:30 AM Via @LucyKafanov – Camp being taken down by police
9:24 AM Brad Blog posts the training guidelines Oakland Police are to follow when engaged in crowd control/crowd dispersal operations.
9:23 AM Tents in the plaza are being taken down by police now
9:19 AM Lucy Kafanov of RT, who has been doing much coverage of raids on occupations, reports Oakland Police Department is offering to “facilitate a tour” for media. This is but another aspect of the militarization of police in America—the fact that police and the city expect media to embed as if they are in a war.
It is worth recalling what Amy Goodman said at Netroots Nation this year:
Is this what reporting has come to in this country? Are they using the model of how reporters embed themselves in the front lines of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as the way, as the model for how we should cover American cities, politics, celebrations of democracy like conventions are supposed to be? Is that what this has come to? Because the embedding process has brought the media to an all time low.
If you look at what happens when you’re embedded in the front lines of troops, you’re sleeping with the soldiers, you’re eating with the soldiers, your life is in their hands. How do you expect you’re going to cover the war?
If you’re going to have that kind of embedding you’re going to need reporters embedded in Iraqi hospitals and Afghan communities and the peace movement around the world to understand the full effects of war… You’re getting one perspective.
The biggest problem is being embedded in the establishment here in this country. We have a special role to play.
We need a media that covers power, not covers for power. We need a media that is the fourth estate, not for the state.
9:17 AM Gavin Aronsen of Mother Jones reports: “OPD public information officer told me camp’s pretty much empty, but that there are still a few people on plaza’s west side.”
9:05 AM Arrests being made of Interfaith Community members who were engaging in an action. They had a tent in the plaza and did not leave with other occupiers. They were holding a candlelight vigil.
Here is a photo from the tent taken hours ago by @LucyKafanov:
8:56 AM This just released by the city of Oakland on the planned clearing of the camp, urges city workers and businesses not to come in to work until 10 am:
We have instructed City staff working around Frank Ogawa Plaza this morning to delay their arrival at to 10 am. We are sharing this information with Downtown Businesses so that you can use discretion on whether to delay your work day based on your assessment of the situation. I greatly respect the commitment and support that the business community has shown during these events and appreciate your patience this past month. The City of Oakland is fortunate to have such a dedicated, resilient, and engaged business community. We know that these have been trying times for your business and for Oakland’s economy in general. We are committed to working with you now and into the future to strengthen Oakland’s business climate, create jobs, and grow the economy.
8:55 AM “We are occupy! We are never gonna die. Every time you kick us out we are gonna multiply” being chanted.
8:49 AM Oakland Police “ordered assembled media to move their news vans away from the Occupy Oakland area citing safety concerns” (via @CaliforniaBeat)
8:45 AM It is being pointed out that rush hour is nearing. Occupy Oakland could make city pay for doing this raid between 5 and 7 am in the morning.
8:42 AM Susie Cagle (@Susie_C) reports a press briefing is planned for 7 am. She is skeptical that the operation will be over by then, but maybe the plan is to clear out and make all arrests by then and quickly get the official story to the media before they have time to independently draw conclusions about the raid.
8:40 AM @Joshua_Holland1 posted this photo