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Occupy Oakland protesters festive despite rumors of police presence

October 26, 2011 |  9:23 pm

An Occupy Oakland protester poses for the media after helping take down the fence around Frank H. Ogawa Plaza near Oakland City Hall

Rumors were spreading at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza on Wednesday night that police were staging nearby.

But in the meantime, the atmosphere remained festive. A boom box blared from the back of a bike, and small groups hung out on the tired lawn, which protesters had repopulated after tearing down the cyclone fence erected earlier by city officials. A few beer cans littered the area.

Alonzo Budd, 61, a self-described homeless man with a bright blue feather in his hat, said he was a humanitarian who believed that "food, clothing, medication and education" should be free. But after last night's show of "excessive force" he planned to make himself scarce.

PHOTOS: Occupy protests around the nation

"I don't want to get damaged," he said, as he clutched a pack of cigarettes. "I'd rather be a live dog than a dead lion."

Budd said police would have been better off arresting protesters and gently "laying them down on the sidewalk in plastic cuffs."

Tonight's police plan remained unclear.

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FULL COVERAGE: Occupy protests around the nation

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-- Lee Romney in Oakland

Photo: An Occupy Oakland protester poses for the media after helping take down the fence around Frank H. Ogawa Plaza near Oakland City Hall. Credit: Kimihiro Hoshino / AFP/Getty Images

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