20 to 25 protesters arrested at Occupy Oakland
Video from the scene showed officers dismantling tents while protesters chanted, "Every time you kick us out, we are gonna multiply." A pair of protesters held an impromptu exchange of wedding vows as police cleared the camp.
Police representatives could not be immediately reached to confirm the number of arrests.
Some Occupy Oakland residents had anticipated the raid and had left their camps overnight. The Oakland Tribune reported that hundreds of police officers gathered early Monday morning before going to the camp site.
Oakland police said Sunday that a man shot to death near the Civic Center on Thursday had been staying at the encampment, as had one suspect in the killing.
In a statement Sunday, Mayor Jean Quan said the city had made "real progress" over the last few days in encouraging some protesters to leave voluntarily. The city reported that the number of tents at the site was down to 150 from 180.
"It is now clear to most Oaklanders that because of the increased violence associated with the camp and the strain on our city's economy and resources, now is the time for the encampment to end," she said.
In her message Sunday, Quan said the city had "tried to negotiate" with the encampment residents but that Oakland remained "one of the few cities where occupiers refuse to allow direct communications with a group of representatives."
"Camping is a tactic," she wrote. "It is one that has divided Oakland, a city of the 99%. It's time to work together on the issues of unemployment, foreclosures and education cuts. While the camping must end, the movement continues."
— Lee Romney in Oakland and Abby Sewell in Los Angeles
Photo: Police officers in riot gear form a line at the Occupy Oakland encampment early Monday. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press