Security officers clash with protesters occupying East Oakland school

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Friday, August 5, 2022
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People occupying Parker Elementary School in Oakland clashed with OUSD security officers who were trying to remove them from the grounds.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- People occupying Parker Elementary School in Oakland Thursday night clashed with district security officers who were trying to remove them from the grounds.

Video sent to ABC7 News by a protester shows security staff allegedly trying to apprehend one of the occupiers and ultimately throwing them out of the building.

Oakland City Councilmember Carroll Fife was at the school and says she witnessed people getting "roughed up" by that security staff.

The protesters have been living on campus since May hoping their sit-in would reverse the decision to close the school. On Thursday, their attempt to stand their ground turned into a confrontation.

RELATED: Community members stage takeover of shuttered elementary school in Oakland, hoping to save it

"We had people forcefully getting hurt and abused on this site," said protester Misty Cross.

Protesters tell ABC7 News several people were bloodied and bruised in the incident.

"I don't know who authorized this as the school board is out of session," said OUSD School Board member Mike Hutchinson.

According to OUSD spokesperson John Sasaki, district security staff went to Parker on Thursday and found that all the protesters in the building were gone. Sasaki says that's when OUSD staff changed the locks and set the alarm.

RELATED: Oakland Unified school board votes to close or merge nearly a dozen schools

However, Sasaki says at some point someone was able to break back into the building but was removed again by security staff.

The group at Parker Elementary claims they were told district staff were only coming in to remove items set to be taken to other school sites. After sending out a text calling for reinforcements, the group made their way inside once again. And they say the fight is far from over.

"Doing this and closing schools is doing a disservice and harming our children even more," said Cross.

Parker Elementary is one of several schools that Oakland Unified voted to close to help cut costs and deal with a budget shortfall.

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