The City of Oakland sent this release on the arrest of protestors at Frank Ogawa Plaza on Sunday, November 24th, 2019, to Zennie62.
Oakland, CA – Yesterday, Sunday, November 24, 2019 at approximately 11:50 AM, approximately 20 people associated with an organization called “The Village” gathered at Frank Ogawa Plaza (City of Oakland did not issue a permit for the event) to protest and pitched 15 tents along with tables and canopies. Throughout the day the group size grew to 25 tents and 70-80 people.
Photo by Candice Elder, reposted by Cat Brooks.
City of Oakland staff met with the protest organizers, who stated their protest would include camping overnight beyond the 10 PM closure stated on signs in the Plaza and in violation of multiple Oakland Municipal Codes. Throughout the day, City of Oakland staff engaged with protesters and informed them that camping in the Plaza overnight and erecting structures would be a violation of several City of Oakland ordinances, but that they could resume their protest during daytime hours. Additionally, the City of Oakland provided unsheltered participants with resources at St. Vincent Paul, where beds and services remain available. Only one person availed themselves of a shelter bed and services.
After many hours of negotiations and requesting protesters to leave, they were informed their possessions would be removed and stored by the City of Oakland for their safe return. Those who stayed past the 10 PM Frank Ogawa Plaza park closure as stated on the signs posted, 22 people, were eventually cited for violation of Oakland Municipal Code-OMC 12.64.110 (Hours of Use of Park) and arrested for 148PC (resisting or delaying arrest). Nine of the 22 arrested have Oakland addresses.
Frank Ogawa Plaza is a shared community space that serves many groups in our city, including students from nearby schools who use the lawn for a recreation area and civic events that serve all residents.
Mayor Libby Schaaf said: “Housing and homelessness are the most urgent crises facing our community, region, and state. Our shared priority is to create more safe shelter spaces for our unsheltered residents and build more affordable housing immediately. Oakland supports every resident’s right to free speech and to protest peacefully in our city.”
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media