Occupiers get lukewarm welcome at new camp

November 23, 2011 12:20:59 AM PST
On Wednesday, Occupy Oakland protesters evicted from Frank Ogawa Plaza tried a different tactic, at a different location. They set up tents on a property they said was in foreclosure. The protesters said they're confronting banks, but not all neighbors were supportive.

11:30 p.m. Update: On Tuesday night, around 9 p.m. police showed up at the lot and told demonstrators it was time to leave. Protesters then gathered up their things and left. Some returned back to Frank Ogawa Plaza, but tents were not allowed to be set up. There was no confrontation or arrests and no citations issued. Police acted on the request of the owner of the lot.

Earlier on Tuesday, Occupy Oakland protesters thought they had found the perfect spot to protest the banks -- a property being foreclosed at 18th and Linden streets. But they aren't exactly receiving a warm welcome from the neighborhood.

"They're in my way, they're keeping me up, my dog barked all last night," resident Melvin Welch said.

Welch is renting the home that is supposedly in foreclosure. He says his landlady has never said a word to him about having problems with the banks, and even if she is, this is not how he wants the problem settled. So he called the police.

"Don't bring it to me, my front door, keep it to the banks, with the bank she's got a problem with, don't come squat," Welch said.

The police came out and talked to both parties and left when the protesters insisted the property owner gave them permission to be there.

"We're rectifying the situation; we're calm, we're peaceful, we're handing out donuts and coffee to the local community," protester Julion Lewis-Tatman said.

A man who lives in the area stopped by to complain about the new demonstration. The protesters tried to explain their tactic but it didn't go over too well. After a lengthy discussion, they agreed to disagree.

The cause did gain some supporters Tuesday morning. A few people stopped by to donate food and encourage the group to stay.

"I think it's time people stood up to the banks; it's criminal what's been happening and people now have the courage to take over foreclosed homes and I think that makes a huge statement," Occupy Oakland supporter Margo Gibney said.

The protesters say they cleared it with the property owner, but ABC7 spoke with her and she said they don't have permission to be there.

City officials say that city ordinances only govern public spaces like Frank Ogawa Plaza and Snow Park and because the occupiers are now on private property this would be an issue addressed by Oakland police if a complaint is filed by the property owner.

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