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'Occupy Oakland' protesters given ultimatum

October 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
In Oakland Thursday night, police gave demonstrators an ultimatum.

On Wednesday, ABC7 asked Mayor Jean Quan how long she would let demonstrators camp out at Frank Ogawa Plaza near Oakland City Hall. By 8 p.m. Thursday, the answer came. The protesters got a notice to vacate, but the question is will they leave?

Judging from the notice, it appears Oakland officials have had enough of the occupation and want the campers to go home. They say the city remains committed to peaceful expression of First Amendment rights, but after 10 days of demonstrating, public health and safety can no longer be upheld. They cite deteriorating camp conditions, physical damage, and health and safety code violations as their reasons for eviction.

Some of the protesters feel very emotional about being kicked out. There's lots of anger after the notice was given.

"It is clear that people have a right to protest, they don't have a right to have permanent camping facilities. We're trying to walk that line," said Quan.

"So we're breaking a couple of little laws of being peacefully assembled camping, then they need to address the laws that have been broken about the billions of dollars that have been stolen from the American public," said Occupy Oakland protester Shake Anderson. When asked if he saw most of the people leaving, he said, "No."

The protesters held a general assembly meeting in the amphitheatre.

The notice says that they don't actually have to leave permanently. They are allowed to still gather between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. It is not clear if police plan to physically move into the camp and try to disassemble it.

A similar notice was distributed at Snow Park in Oakland on Tuesday night since the Occupy Oakland movement stretched to that second location. Those protesters have not yet either.

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