'Occupy Oakland' camp could be dissolved

'Occupy Oakland' demonstrators at Frank Ogawa Plaza.
October 19, 2011 6:32:54 PM PDT
Oakland's 'Occupy' movement has taken over both Frank Ogawa Plaza outside city hall and Snow Park near Lake Merritt.

Oakland's city officials took a stroll through the protest encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza to assess the conditions firsthand.

"(We're here to address) the issues that have been raised in terms of public health and safety -- graffiti, urination, vandalism and making specific requests as to what the need to do as to address those issues," said Karen Boyd with the city of Oakland.

The campers are violating a host of city codes involving their tents, dogs inside the camp, marijuana smoking and having a large stash of pot inside at least one of the camps.

An organizer with a science festival for kids told ABC7 Mayor Jean Quan's press conference was moved inside due to concerns about marijuana smoke wafting through the air.

Still, Mayor Quan denies there have been serious problems with the camp.

"I haven't seen that," Quan said when asked about threats, intimidation and drug dealing. "I think you have bad people in any particular group. I didn't see drug dealing, I didn't get threatened. I walked through the encampment."

The mayor and other city officials are concerned about a small separate camp that sprung up at Snow Park near Lake Merritt.

"They're probably not going to be staying here when this is over," said demonstrator Susanne Sarley. "We have to deal with the consequences of their actions."

Some who came to the encampment to voice their concerns about corporate greed and Wall Street worry their message is getting lost amid the problems and negativity created by a few.

"I'm a single mother," Sarley said. "I'm impoverished; I've been unemployed for two years. My family is suffering as a result of the economy, and I want to see change in our world."

Each day, the city issues a list of directives for the demonstrators, and so far the city office said the demonstrators have been compliant. A new set of list will be released later Wednesday that says threats against reporters and people who pass by the camp won't be tolerated.


Load Comments