Mayor Jean Quan told the Express this morning that the city plans to reopen Frank Ogawa Plaza by as early as 4:30 p.m. today. The mayor also said that if protesters from Occupy Oakland set up tents again in the plaza, then police will cite the demonstrators and remove the tents. “We’ll keep removing tents … like other cities have done,” she said. “We’ll take them down as soon as we can.” Oakland police also will monitor the plaza around the clock, although Quan declined to say how many officers will do so.
The mayor also said that Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan is allowing protesters who are camping at Snow Park near Lake Merritt to apply for overnight permits to camp for a “few days.” The Snow Park encampment split off from Occupy Oakland and is known as being peaceful and nonviolent. Quan said, however, that Snow Park is only a temporary solution and that Occupy Oakland needs to find a private space to occupy to remain sustainable.
This morning’s raid on City Hall plaza cost the city between $300,000 and $500,000, the mayor said. By the time police arrived, most of the encampment had been deserted. Of the 32 people arrested, fifteen were members of an interfaith group that had cleared out of the encampment and then came back to engage in civil disobedience, Quan said.
As for tonight, the mayor would not say how many police officers will be on hand if protesters decide to march back to the plaza. However, she said she does not believe that there will be as many this time as there were on October 25 after the first police raid.