Oakland to seek 'stay away' orders against Occupy protesters
With more than 400 arrests in the Occupy Oakland protests in recent days and City Hall vandalized, officials will seek "stay away" orders against more than 100 repeat protesters to prevent them from returning.
Mayor Jean Quan told the Oakland Tribune on Monday, in the wake of vandalism and burning of American flags, that the city would seek orders forbidding some protesters from entering Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, and possibly all of downtown Oakland.
Quan also said there has been talk of a counter-demonstration to show public frustration with the movement.
Police arrested about 400 activists during daylong protests Saturday, marking the most heated clash since authorities broke up the movement’s encampment in November.
On Sunday, city officials showed reporters the aftermath in City Hall, where floors were littered with trash, glass display cases were smashed and electrical wires were cut.
"Oakland? That's not a movement. Violence, setting fires, vandalizing public buildings, that's not what #OWS is supposed to be about," user AstoriaHaiku of Astoria, N.Y., wrote, referring to Occupy Wall Street.
Twitter user Rebekah Haas cautioned that the movement’s credibility could be undermined.
"I'm just going to throw this out there my fellow #occupyoakland-ers. All this violence is doing nothing except having people lose respect," she wrote.
Another in Mobile, Ala., calling himself B. Hamm, also urged restraint: "I have supported you from the beginning and know your frustration -- please try to remain non-violent as most of you are."
Many were particularly critical of the flag burning, saying it was going too far.
"I'm all about free speech, but when you go as far as to burn an American flag, you no longer have my sympathy or support," wrote Becky Armendariz in Phoenix.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Police officers stand near graffiti while guarding City Hall in Oakland after Saturday's Occupy Oakland protest. Credit: Noah Berger / Associated Press