by Rachel Swan
Undeterred by the spate of raids that occurred in Oakland and San Francisco over the weekend, Occupy Oakland launched a new encampment last night, at a vacant lot on 18th and Linden Streets in West Oakland. Campers contended that a home adjacent to the lot was going into foreclosure, and that they had the owner's permission to camp there. It seemed like a laudable raison d'etre, except that as of midnight last night, most occupants at the camp could neither confirm which home they were defending, nor identify the owner.
This morning Contra Costa Times reporter Robert Salonga combed through Alameda County records and confirmed that the lot itself is the subject of foreclosure proceedings, as indicated by a notice of trustee sale published on Monday. Last night protesters pitched between 10 and 12 tents, passed a no-substance ordinance by consensus vote, and launched what appears to be a peaceful demonstration with a tangible goal. As many journalists now argue, the protesters' decision to defend foreclosed properties marks the next phase in the Occupy movement.
Update: This just in from the Chron: The owner of the lot, Gloria Cobb, has asked Occupy Oakland to dismantle its new camp immediately. She says the protesters seized the property without her permission. She's asked her tenants to call the police in order to expedite the process.