Oakland -- The Occupy Oakland encampment at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza has been removed for the second time in three weeks, and although police have vowed the camp will not rise again, recent history has shown that it will not fade away.
In fact, by midafternoon 40 tents and a kitchen area had sprouted at Snow Park across from Lake Merritt, despite eviction notices that had been served on campers there the day before.
And by 5 p.m. a few hundred Occupy Oakland demonstrators who gathered at the Main Library at 14th and Madison streets had come up with three proposals for consideration at a general assembly: Reoccupy Frank Ogawa Plaza, occupy Snow Park or occupy vacant buildings in Oakland.
The third option received loud applause from the crowd.
"This is an organic entity," said Kerie Campbell, 47, who has been a part of the encampment since it started. "It's not hierarchical. It's not structured. It just unfolds. You have to wait and see.
"What I'm hoping is that we're going right back in the plaza."
And go back they did, if only for the general assembly.
Oakland police, aided by seven other law enforcement agencies, moved in at 5 a.m. Monday, carefully dismantled tents and made 32 peaceful arrests. Nine of those arrested were from Oakland. About a dozen of those arrested were praying all night in the interfaith tent. Another person was arrested at noon for spitting at police.
Unlike the Oct. 25 predawn raid on
Interim police Chief Howard Jordan said the Occupy movement was welcome to peacefully demonstrate at the plaza, but police will not allow any new tents or camping.
"I'm very proud of the way the officersacted today," Jordan said. "Similar to other events that took place over the last month, our goal has always been to resolve these incidents peacefully and by allowing people to exercise their First Amendment rights."
The Occupy Oakland encampment that first appeared outside City Hall on Oct. 10 and quickly reappeared after the Oct. 25 raid, has tested both the patience and the treasury of the city of Oakland.
Monday's tab for mutual aid provided during the camp action will cost the city between $300,000 and $500,000, said City Administrator Deanna Santana. The tab for the Oct. 25 raid and demonstrations that ended up with police using tear gas, bean-bag rounds and rubber bullets -- during which U.S. Marine veteran Scott Olsen was seriously injured -- exceeded $1 million.
On Monday, Quan defended removing the camp, saying that the cost to the city since the camp was established, estimated at $2.4 million, was draining scarce resources and "hurt the quality of life in every part of the city."
She pleaded with people to be peaceful and respect the decision to remove the camp.
"For weeks we've been trying to meet with the organizers," Quan said. "(After) recent phone calls with other city mayors, I've come to realize that we were the only city that doesn't have a group from the encampment to talk to."
City leaders have gone on record as supporting Occupy Wall Street, and by extension the Occupy Oakland movement, which shines the spotlight on corporate greed and bank bailouts that have cost many working-class people their jobs and homes.
But while people continued to support the movement, support for the camp itself deteriorated after the demonstrations turned violent and the number of tents swelled and overflowed the lawn area at Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Local businesses complained that they were losing money because customers did not want to come downtown, and the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce heard from its members that businesses might leave, and others who were considering a move to Oakland might opt to go elsewhere.
Quan still is the target of much of the criticism. She was vilified by Occupy Oakland supporters for allowing police to raid the camp the first time and criticized by the business community for ordering a hands-off approach that allowed the campers to re-establish the tent city a day after the raid.
That chorus of criticism grew along with the encampment. By Wednesday, five of the eight City Council members joined the chamber in calling for the immediate removal of the camp and threatening to find a way to do it if Quan did not do it herself.
The next night, a 25-year-old camper identified as Kayode Ola Foster was shot and killed at the plaza after an argument. Several people packed up and left after the shooting, and by Sunday night, others had taken advantage of services and housing offered by social services agencies that visited the camp the past several days. The winter shelter at the Oakland Army Base also opened Monday.
By Monday morning, Quan's longtime friend and legal adviser, Dan Siegel, had resigned over the mayor's decision to close down the camp a second time. At an early morning news briefing Quan had almost lost her voice and was clearly exhausted. Later Monday, she announced that Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu had resigned
"This has been very difficult, trying to ensure civil rights versus keeping people safe," she said. "It really became a fight over the plaza. ... The (Occupy Wall Street) movement should unite us, not divide us."
Paul Benton Sr., 53, came to Frank Ogawa Plaza on Monday wearing a hat with the message: "Leave my city in peace. Unoccupy Oakland." Benton, who has lived in the city for 35 years, said he agrees with the protesters' message but that their actions are damaging the city.
"Their message is heartfelt," he said. "But the way they're going about it -- destroying what little is left in Oakland -- that makes me very sad."
Brad Newsham had a different view. The 60-year-old Oakland resident has been attending Occupy protests in Oakland and San Francisco since they began. He arrived at the plaza carrying a "Re-Occupy Oakland" sign.
"The powers that be in these buildings around us would like nothing more than for us to go back to sleep so that the travesty can accelerate and continue," he said.
Jack Radey, 64, took part in the free speech movement and anti-Vietnam War protests in the 1960s. He now lives in Eugene, Ore., but was in Oakland for a visit and decided to check out what was going on at the plaza.
"We're just getting started," Radey said. "I've seen a mass movement around Vietnam and civil rights -- and it's come again."
Jordan said police had no timetable when it would evict campers at Snow Park.
Staff writers Robert Salonga, Chris De Benedetti, Matt O'Brien, Paul Rosynsky, Rob Dennis, Julia Prodis Sulek, Dana Hull, Eric Kurhi, Harry Harris, Matt Artz, and Hannah Dreier contributed to this report.