Occupy Oakland: Hundreds of police move on encampment
"Our goal has been to facilitate individuals to remove their tents, cooking facilities, and belongings, and to leave cooperatively. We partnered with community allies to help facilitate communication with the protesters regarding their departure, and we partnered with Alameda County to provide services to assist those with housing and behavioral health needs," the city said in a statement.
According to media reporters at the scene, police were beginning to issue dispersal orders. Several arrests were made at one tent area, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
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 area.
Oakland police said Sunday that a man shot to death near the Civic Center on Thursday had been staying at the Occupy movement's encampment, as had one suspect in the killing.
In a statement Sunday, Mayor Jean Quan said the city has made "real progress" over the last few days in encouraging some protesters to leave voluntarily. The city reports that the number of tents is down to 150, from 180.
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"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 has "tried to negotiate" with the encampment residents since the beginning but that Oakland remains "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 and Shelby Grad
Photo: A line of police officers stand at an Occupy Oakland encampment early Monday. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press