Occupy Oakland protesters aim to retake plaza

November 29, 2011 6:47:17 PM PST
Occupy protesters and police spent the day playing a cat and mouse game at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza on Tuesday.

Police ordered activists to remove their teepee every time they tried to erect it. Occupy members would then move it to another site and put it up again until police chased them away again. The teepee ended up being moved to a paved area away from the lawn.

"No one's sleeping in the teepee that we're erecting," said Kirk Boyd with the Occupy Oakland Vigil Committee.

Activists are aiming to retake Frank Ogawa Plaza by implementing a 24-hour, 7-day a week vigil.

"We're hoping that they'll let these wonderful Americans express their ideas in the market place of here," said Boyd.

The plan is to create a new wave of occupation protest, and by building the teepee, although they say only symbolic in nature, is just the beginning.

"On Dec. 12, Occupy Oakland as well as the Occupy movement up and down the West Coast, will be shutting down all of the ports," said Mike King with the Occupy Oakland Port Blockade Assembly.

Workers at the Port of Oakland could see a repeat of the Nov. 3 general strike that shut down the port for hours.

"If the police come to attack any of our demonstrations up and down the coast, that blockade will continue indefinitely," said King.

Port officials say that they will not allow unlawful demonstrations and are working with their partners to keep the port open.

What will happen next isn't exactly clear. Tuesday's action had more citizen journalists than it did demonstrators. Occupiers are hoping to breathe new life into their movement.

Oakland city councilmember Larry Reid believes the energy of demonstrators could be used more effectively in other ways.

"They're causing us to use a lot of resources of our police officers that could be out in the community addressing the problems that truly are impacting the quality of life for the 99 percenters that live here in the city of Oakland," said Reid.

Tuesday afternoon the city of Oakland granted a three-day permit for the teepee, but it comes with heavy stipulations. The teepee is only allowed to be erected between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. No food is allowed and no one is allowed to stay inside the teepee, and most importantly, it must come down each night at 10 p.m. or the city will remove it. Any violation of the code will forbid them from having another permit.

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