Oakland city council “leans toward” clearing Ogawa Plaza … again

posted at 9:15 am on November 4, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

To no one’s great shock, the city of Oakland once again finds itself sick of the Occupy protests, after watching them riot through the streets and shut down one of the busiest ports in the nation for several hours.  Unfortunately, they may not have many options in doing so, which is probably one reason why the city council deliberations stalled on whether to act:

A majority of the Oakland City Council indicated late Thursday that they would like an end to the Occupy Oakland encampment in front of City Hall, but they did not vote on any proposals.

The statements came at the end of a five-hour meeting during which hundreds of people crammed into the council chambers for an emotionally charged discussion about whether to allow the encampment to remain at Frank Ogawa Plaza with city support. Several times, the rowdy crowd shouted down city officials as they tried to speak.

But after hearing from speakers who support the camp and others who said it hurts the city, Councilwoman Desley Brooks, a strong supporter of the camp, expressed reservations.

“I believe and understand the lack of hope and pain and frustration that people are feeling,” said Brooks, who represents the East Oakland and who had camped with protesters for the first two nights and had been a regular visitor. “But I have been extremely troubled by how far do we allow your rights to go and infringe on other people’s rights.”

Let’s say they decide to clear out Ogawa Plaza again.  Who will they call to get the job done?  They’ll probably first call the police, who will listen politely — and then likely decline.  The police already cleared Ogawa Plaza once, only to have Mayor Jean Quan stab them in the back by endorsing the re-occupation.  Don’t expect the police union to cheer when those orders come, and I’d bet more than a few police officers might absent themselves from any re-clearing operation.  They’re not going to be anxious to risk their lives and a slew of brutality complaints just to see Quan cheer the return of the mobs once again.

I’d guess that the next clearing operation will require the National Guard.  Meanwhile, some of Oakland’s citizens are realizing that they have to be their own guard as the city council fiddles:

Oakland developer Phil Tagami is used to working behind the scenes to broker some of the biggest deals in town. Late Wednesday, he was using different persuasive skills – holding a loaded shotgun to scare away rioters trying to get into a downtown building.

“We had people who were attempted to break into our building,” the landmark Rotunda Building on Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall, Tagami said Thursday. He grabbed a shotgun that he usually keeps at home, went down to the ground floor and “discouraged them,” he said.

“I was standing there and they saw me there, and I lifted it – I didn’t point it – I just held it in my hands,” Tagami said. “And I just racked it, and they ran.”

Although they didn’t get inside the building – Tagami, 46, oversaw its $50 million renovation and has an office there – vandals did scrawl graffiti on the outside walls during the post-midnight riot that broke out after Occupy Oakland’s daylong general strike.

When doing research on a report for my college course in Afro-American Studies — yes, I took that class and got an A — I came across a very similar story from the Watts riots in Los Angeles, reported by the LA Times as part of a retrospective years later.  One shop owner, an African-American man who must have been in his 30s at the time, saw the mob marching up the street, setting fires and smashing windows.  He went back into his store and got his shotgun.  Men burst into his store and told him, “We’re looking for whitey.”  The owner racked a shell and told them, “You won’t find him here.”  He stood guard for 72 hours without any sleep, and his was one of the few stores left mainly undamaged in the riot.  It was a fascinating article, and in fact the entire LA Times retrospective on the Watts riots was excellent (I believe it appeared in 1982), but it impressed upon me at a young age that the police cannot protect all individuals at all times.

In the end, it took the National Guard to contain the riots in Watts.  And that was without having the mayor of the city cheering on the mob.  Best of luck to you, Oakland, because you’re going to need it.

Meanwhile, Steven Crowder went to the other coast to visit Occupy Wall Street.  Guess who he bumped into out there?

I can’t wait to see how this turns out on Monday.

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lean toward…

lean forward…

Gotta LOVE the CONVICTION these libs have.

singlemalt 18 on November 4, 2011 at 9:19 AM

But, Dr. Steven Pinker has assured us that we are living in a less violent age.

coldwarrior on November 4, 2011 at 9:21 AM

For maximum effect and because of the pure specatacle that would ensue, hire Blackwater to clear the park.

I’d fly everyone at HA out to Oakland, rent a nearby rooftop, provide a caterer and bartender, and we could just hang out and watch the fun.

Bishop on November 4, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Wow! I am surprised that people are still allowed to have shotguns in California.

Ars Moriendi on November 4, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Wow! I am surprised that people are still allowed to have shotguns in California.

Ars Moriendi on November 4, 2011 at 9:22 AM

I’m sure he is under investigation as we speak.

sandee on November 4, 2011 at 9:23 AM

it hasn’t brought their dearly wished for Kristallnacht/Armageddon yet. the left in power won’t stop them until several city blocks burn down or there’s a significant death toll.

they want the police state to crack down on the law abiding opposition not the criminal anarchists and faux commie gangstas.

mittens on November 4, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Why would it take a city council vote to enforce the law and evict/arrest trespassers? From what I understand having listened to an OPD rep on Laura Ingraham yesterday morning, the city is in bad shape, and the the people via their elected officials are intentionally making it worse. Oakland will become the Detriot of the west coast.

madmonkphotog on November 4, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Maybe the mayor can send out a harshly worded tweet…that oughta do it!

crazywater on November 4, 2011 at 9:25 AM

I’d guess that the next clearing operation will require the National Guard.

So a corrupt Democrat chooses to selectively (not) enforce local ordinances for political reasons, allows anarchy to take root intentionally, now it’s a problem the rest of the country has to pay to fix?

The cost and chaos is bad enough, but the selective enforcement is worse. It’s just a euphemism for tyranny. I’m outrageously outraged.

forest on November 4, 2011 at 9:26 AM

At least the guy with the shot gun will give the liberal mayor someone to go after and show how tough on crime she is.

dirtseller on November 4, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Who are they going to call?

Ghostbusters?

TugboatPhil on November 4, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Not saying this is the way to handle this situation, but, back early in the last century, the good folks in Crescent City, CA, decided that all the Chinese should leave town. Seems the Chinese were competing for jobs at the lumber mill and would work harder and cheaper than the white workers. The people called a meeting in town one day and told them to leave, now. They all left for friendlier places. No one was hurt in the process. If the people of Oakland want their downtown back, maybe they should show up in mass and tell the hippie, druggie, maggot infested, dope smokers to leave. They can go back to mom’s basement or their park benches.

Kissmygrits on November 4, 2011 at 9:27 AM

How long do they figure before City Hall is “engulfed” by peace?

MNHawk on November 4, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Lotion man flew out to LA? Maybe he was cold in NY. He fits right in on both coasts.

IowaWoman on November 4, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Another case for the rest of the U.S. to secede from California.

either orr on November 4, 2011 at 9:30 AM

If the people of Oakland want their downtown back, maybe they should show up in mass and tell the hippie, druggie, maggot infested, dope smokers to leave.

Ever been to Oakland, the destruction caused by the occupiers has actually improved the place. Besides, all those people you described ARE the normal citizens of Oakland.

Bishop on November 4, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Idiots…all of them.

I hope the police tell them to go to hell…and let them deal with it themselves.

neoavatara on November 4, 2011 at 9:32 AM

forest on November 4, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Maybe the first thing Oakland police could do is arrest the mayor for inciting a riot?

Fallon on November 4, 2011 at 9:33 AM

The race riots in Baltimore in the 60′s stopped at Little Italy. Goombahs in tee shirts with shotguns sitting on their marble stoops had a sort of a force field effect.

Akzed on November 4, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Ed, you seriously took that course? dude…../

ted c on November 4, 2011 at 9:34 AM

No one will have to remind me not to ever to to Oakland, CA. It sounds like the entire place is a cesspool. It there were any good citizens of Oakland the mayor should be fearing a recall vote.

SC.Charlie on November 4, 2011 at 9:37 AM

The solution is simple. The Council should officially change the city’s name from Oakland to Obamaville and mark the file “No further action required. “

Naturally Curly on November 4, 2011 at 9:37 AM

the police cannot protect all individuals at all times.

Back in the mid 1960′s, I lived in Spain. (military) Those police (la Guardia Civil) under Franco had ABSOLUTE authority. (Even as Americans, we were told if one of them stopped us while we were driving and told us to transport them somewhere, we were to do so without question.) Police in a police state can do a real fine job of protecting individuals all the time. But having lived in a “police state”, I don’t wish to do so again.

oldleprechaun on November 4, 2011 at 9:39 AM

This will all end in tears.

BigGator5 on November 4, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Van Jones must be so proud!

tinkerthinker on November 4, 2011 at 9:40 AM

I’d fly everyone at HA out to Oakland, rent a nearby rooftop, provide a caterer and bartender, and we could just hang out and watch the fun.

Bishop on November 4, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Count me in.

katy the mean old lady on November 4, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Wow! I am surprised that people are still allowed to have shotguns in California.

Ars Moriendi on November 4, 2011 at 9:22 AM

You would be surprised how many people are armed in California.

Kjeil on November 4, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Oakland will become the Detriot of the west coast.

madmonkphotog on November 4, 2011 at 9:25 AM

“Will become”? It’s already there and has been since at least the late 60s.

teke184 on November 4, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Who will they call to get the job done? They’ll probably first call the police, who will listen politely — and then likely decline.

Disagree Ed, I know OPD and I know the kind of men and women they are. Given the opportunity they will enforce the law and do their job. However, if I was in Chief Jordan’s position right now I would demand every order, every directive from City Hall in writing with the mayor’s signature. These are not local ordinances that Mayor Quan is “selectively enforcing”, they are crimes under the California Penal Code…vandalism, arson, unlawful assembly, assault, etc. The Mayor has no authority to order OPD not to enforce state law and the Oakland city charter expressly forbids political meddling in the day-to-day operations of the police department, so I’d want it all in writing to cover my butt and to give to the media when all he!! breaks loose.

Trafalgar on November 4, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Ed, you seriously took that course? dude…../

ted c on November 4, 2011 at 9:34 AM

I seriously did, and I seriously enjoyed it. In fact, Marcus Allen’s brother Damon was in the class with me, back when he was the star QB for the Fullerton State Titans, leading us to our one and only undefeated season. He played QB for years in Canada and had a great career, but after he left, the Titans sucked at football, and they ended the program a few years later.

Anyway, I would have recommended that class to anyone. It’s always good to see things from other perspectives.

Ed Morrissey on November 4, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Well, if they don’t clear it out now, it is only going to get worse. These people have never met a law they weren’t willing to break.

Next up is OccupyXmas, where they will try to prevent people from shopping. They have a “pep-talk” video that uses a Michael Buble Christmas song as the soundtrack. I wonder if they got permission to use the song for their twisted video?

They want to destroy our traditions, attack our values and are just itching for something really bad to happen. They want to make people afraid.

bloggless on November 4, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Oakland is now ruled by the mob.

mbs on November 4, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Bottom Up
Top Down
Inside Out

Van Obama Jones

Key West Reader on November 4, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Bishop on November 4, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Send me a ticket. If I cash it in it’s because something important came up…and then I lost the money cause that important thing, um, got importantty.

NotCoach on November 4, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Several times, the rowdy crowd shouted down city officials as they tried to speak.

They were shouting that everyone deserves to have his or her voice heard.

The movement is all about some free speech and open dialog.

/

mankai on November 4, 2011 at 10:01 AM

The Mayor has no authority to order OPD not to enforce state law and the Oakland city charter expressly forbids political meddling in the day-to-day operations of the police department, so I’d want it all in writing to cover my butt and to give to the media when all he!! breaks loose.

Trafalgar on November 4, 2011 at 9:49 AM

I would take it one stepfurther and have her sign in front of the media.

katy the mean old lady on November 4, 2011 at 10:01 AM

They could call in the Boy Scouts.

bloggless on November 4, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Key West Reader on November 4, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Yeah, it’s a good thing Fox forced that crazy hater Glenn Beck off the air. He never got anything right.

Naturally Curly on November 4, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Jean Quan realizes that the OO’s are after her

OO’s = Occupy Oaklanders

Key West Reader on November 4, 2011 at 10:10 AM

I seriously did, and I seriously enjoyed it. In fact, Marcus Allen’s brother Damon was in the class with me, back when he was the star QB for the Fullerton State Titans, leading us to our one and only undefeated season. He played QB for years in Canada and had a great career, but after he left, the Titans sucked at football, and they ended the program a few years later.

Anyway, I would have recommended that class to anyone. It’s always good to see things from other perspectives.

Ed Morrissey on November 4, 2011 at 9:50 AM

wow–that’s cool. Non-science courses have always troubled me.

ted c on November 4, 2011 at 10:13 AM

I hear tear gas and water cannons work wonders.

vcferlita on November 4, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Pretend to lean forward.

Barrack on November 4, 2011 at 10:19 AM

this is the thing with these liberal anarchists, once you give in to them, they keep coming back for more. They understand one thing—FORCE. There is no reasoning with the insane. There is no debate. They can either obey the law, or not obey it. They can either get a permit to use the park, or not get one. They can either choose to respect the property of the city and businesses around their location, or choose to destroy them. It is obviously looking like they are choosing to not obey the law and damage property. What happens when someone gets killed, Mayor Quan? Is the city liable????

ted c on November 4, 2011 at 10:21 AM

It was a fascinating article, and in fact the entire LA Times retrospective on the Watts riots was excellent (I believe it appeared in 1982), but it impressed upon me at a young age that the police cannot protect all individuals at all times.

Nor are they meant to. Police presence can be a deterrent, however, it is not always a deterrent. There are layers of security in the protection of property. Static layers–ie, gates, fences, engineering etc. that prevent access. Active layers–ie police patrols, cameras and then final line of defense is usually the citizen–preferably an armed one. It is no wonder that liberals want gun control, because an armed citizen –or worse for them, a group of armed citizens– is one of the most effective defenses against crime or tyranny. Ed had up that case where that guy shot the purse snatcher last week, now this guy protecting a building. 2nd Amendment works folks. straight up.

ted c on November 4, 2011 at 10:30 AM

They could call in the Boy Scouts.

bloggless on November 4, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Yeah, they just love those boy scouts!

Shay on November 4, 2011 at 10:31 AM

For maximum effect and because of the pure specatacle that would ensue, hire Blackwater to clear the park.

I’d fly everyone at HA out to Oakland, rent a nearby rooftop, provide a caterer and bartender, and we could just hang out and watch the fun.
Bishop on November 4, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Great idea! I had the most pleasant daydream about defending Blackwater’s clearing of the park to my Occupy friends.

thuja on November 4, 2011 at 10:33 AM

What happens when someone gets killed, Mayor Quan? Is the city liable????

ted c on November 4, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Yes. Because the Mayor and other elected officials endorsed the occupiers they have essentially opened themselves up to Liability and can no longer invoke Sovereign Immunity defenses.

The businesses that have been damaged will have to bear the costs of clean up and repair on their own because most policies exclude coverage for riots and civil commotion. So, not only can rape and molestation victims sue, the property owners can sue to recover their damages as well.

Liberals. They are so stupid.

Key West Reader on November 4, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Key West Reader on November 4, 2011 at 10:34 AM

I agree, Oakland and other cities where the officials have flagrantly refused to enforce permitting requirements have really opened themselves up.

And their insurers will have a case for refusing to cover liability claims too. They issue polices based on the fact that the city will follow its own guidelines in requiring events to have their own insurance and make security arrangements etc. Having failed to do that, they have exposed their own insurers to avoidable and unjustifiable risks.

City solicitors had better wake up.

forest on November 4, 2011 at 10:48 AM

The entire city council and mayor should be recalled.

GarandFan on November 4, 2011 at 10:50 AM

City of Oakland has a feedback email – so i sent them a nastygram about how their mayor betrayed her own city along with councilmembers.

And, that Tagami guy should run for mayor of Oakland

theflyonthewall on November 4, 2011 at 10:59 AM

I am betting that some of these 99%ers are filming this and we will see the next Woodstock type movie.Someone wants to become a 1%er and this is right up Hollywoods alley.

docflash on November 4, 2011 at 11:04 AM

City solicitors had better wake up.

forest on November 4, 2011 at 10:48 AM

You know who is awake? Gloria Allred is awake. And she is salivating.

Liberals. Are. Stupid.

Key West Reader on November 4, 2011 at 11:11 AM

I’d like to see a couple fire-fighting helicoptors empty Lake Merritt onto the park. At around 3:00 a.m.

SD on November 4, 2011 at 11:19 AM

It’s a good thing Mexico is such a mess or they could come in a reclaim California (or a lot of it) without firing a single shot.

Cindy Munford on November 4, 2011 at 11:32 AM

“But I have been extremely troubled by how far do we allow your rights to go and infringe on other people’s rights.”

-
There’s an old saying that says your rights end where my nose begins…
-
I’d say that with the smell these vermin are perpetrating on the good citizens of the cities they have invaded… they’ve overstepped their rights… and smeared excrement on everyone else’s.
-

RalphyBoy on November 4, 2011 at 11:44 AM

It’s a good thing Mexico is such a mess or they could come in a reclaim California (or a lot of it) without firing a single shot.

Cindy Munford on November 4, 2011 at 11:32 AM

They already have, but it isn’t official until shots are fired.

BobMbx on November 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Late Wednesday, he was using different persuasive skills – holding a loaded shotgun to scare away rioters trying to get into a downtown building.

You can get a lot more with pandering and a loaded shotgun than you can with pandering alone.

pedestrian on November 4, 2011 at 11:54 AM

“The scoops are coming!…”

mojo on November 4, 2011 at 12:05 PM

For maximum effect and because of the pure specatacle that would ensue, hire Blackwater to clear the park.

I’d fly everyone at HA out to Oakland, rent a nearby rooftop, provide a caterer and bartender, and we could just hang out and watch the fun.

Bishop on November 4, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Bean-bag shotguns for party favors and I’m there!!

Tim_CA on November 4, 2011 at 12:07 PM

You would be surprised how many people are armed in California.

Kjeil on November 4, 2011 at 9:43 AM

I can neither confirm nor deny this. ;)

baldilocks on November 4, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Lawsuit.

equanimous on November 4, 2011 at 1:11 PM

I can’t wait to see how this turns out on Monday.

.
If that kid doesn’t get punched out, it sure won’t be because it’s not his fault. OR, for the reading impaired: I’d be surprised if that kid doesn’t get punched out. I’m surprised he’s not all bruised and bloody as of now.

ExpressoBold on November 4, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Can’t Oakland Mayor Jean Quan just walk across the street to the encampment to have a “dialogue” with each of the Occupiers so she can personally ask them nicely to leave the park?

Yeah right. Like that type of “conflict resolution” might work with a group of angry Liberals.

Perhaps it’s time for Mayor Quan to start appreciating the Oakland Police Department more.

wren on November 4, 2011 at 3:03 PM

the Oakland city charter expressly forbids political meddling in the day-to-day operations of the police department, so I’d want it all in writing to cover my butt and to give to the media when all he!! breaks loose.

Trafalgar on November 4, 2011 at 9:49 AM

The mayor would sign it in a heartbeat. She knows she won’t be held accountable by the media, but the cops are always maligned no matter what they do (or don’t do).

And for all the folks that think the oakland politicos care one whit about the liability suits that will follow the mob destroying downtown, it ain’t their money. They got the money for the lawsuit payoffs from the very businesses that will get destroyed in the rioting. This is a win-win situation for any democrat politician in an occupied city, and they know it.

runawayyyy on November 4, 2011 at 3:38 PM

You would be surprised how many people are armed in California.

Kjeil on November 4, 2011 at 9:43 AM

I can neither confirm nor deny this. ;)

baldilocks on November 4, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Armed you say? Here in a blue state? never.

/

Tim_CA on November 4, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Only blue around the edges, Tim. Inside, cherry red.

mojo on November 4, 2011 at 5:00 PM