Occupy Oakland: Losses to the city top $2 million
Oakland officials said the costs to City Hall of Occupy Oakland are adding up.
Monday morning's police raid cost the city $500,000 in outside police help. Occupy Oakland's total cost to taxpayers to date is more than $2.4 million, according to a city estimate released late in the day.
And the drain on the shrinking police force has brought additional costs. An evening protest by about 500 demonstrators Oct. 29 stretched the department so thin that nearly 200 911 calls backed up over two hours. Downtown businesses also have suffered: Customers are staying away and vandals have defaced property. In response to a poll commissioned by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce last week, nearly two-thirds of city residents said they believed that Occupy Oakland had harmed local businesses and workers. Most called for the camp's ouster.
On Monday night, about 700 protesters returned to the civic center plaza Monday evening, vowing to keep their movement alive but undecided about whether to defy police and retake the site of their monthlong protest.
"Regardless of what they do to that encampment, this awoke something in all of us," said Iris Arcenciel, 26, of Alameda, a member of Occupy Oakland's media committee who advocated for retaking the plaza. "The important thing to remember is civil disobedience."
-- Lee Romney in Oakland and Maria L. La Ganga in San Francisco
Photo: An Occupy Oakland protester outlines another in chalk Monday. Credit: Mathew Sumner / Getty Images.