A quick tour of post-raid Occupy Oakland
I was just down at the plaza from which Occupy Oakland was evicted yesterday. There were two guys with some lawnchairs who stayed all night; the one, who gave me his name, described holding his “Occupy Quantanamo” sign all night until he had the satisfaction of seeing Mayor Quan look down and see him holding it. “We’re coming back Wednesday, maybe Saturday,” he said; “The earth needs to rest. The city put some shit in it that’s bad for the earth, bad for people. So we have to wait and let it heal.”
This is what he’s talking about:
It hasn’t rained recently, so it’s water at least, probably mixed with some kind of horrible “cleaning” chemical. Sanitation is one of the excuses the Mayor gave for spending (according to KPFA’s Davey D) $2.4 million dollars to produce this lovely panorama. And the ground is pretty saturated with whatever it is; when I dipped my toe into the earth, it squished. The other side of his sign said “We need a boat” and his friend only identified himself to me as “The Captain.” They were in very good spirits, and also exhausted. Ten cops had been watching the two of them all night he said, a shift that changed every hour, bringing in ten more cops.
“Just the two of you?” I asked.
“I know, right?” he said. “Just us.”
Along with the two of them, this tree sitter proved to be the one occupier the cops were unable to dislodge:
When I left, the captain remained and the guy with the Quantanamo sign went off to Snow Park to sleep. I wish I had given him a ride, in retrospect, since I ended up driving by there. The number of people sleeping in doorways along Broadway was back to its old pre-occupation saturation levels, but a lot of the occupiers went — for the night at least — to Snow Park, which has not (yet?) been raided. The number of tents might be almost doubled there — maybe 40 — and certainly there are more people who slept out there outside of tents last night:
Occupy Oakland is holding its General Assemblies at Oscar Grant amphitheatre, starting last night; I was at Cal, so I didn’t go, but apparently it was well attended.