Citing a Friday scuffle that resulted in 13 arrests and one police officer getting hit in the head with a chair, Oakland officials announced Tuesday they are evicting a teepee and leafleting table from Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, ending the last vestige of Occupy Oakland's daily presence at the square.
Sgt. Chris Bolton said police are working with the permit holder, Becca Von Behren, to remove the teepee and table without confrontation and wouldn't say if police had plans to forcibly remove the protesters.
Interim police Chief Howard Jordan revoked the city permit for the teepee Monday because those manning it had violated the conditions by sleeping at the site, distributing food, setting up trash cans, and using the area as a storage facility.
On Friday, teepee supporters assaulted a police officer and vandalized a patrol car after officers tried to enforce a deadline to stop storing personal items at the teepee, according to the city.
The city also said that a fire set Tuesday morning at the Frank H. Ogawa statue near the teepee further illustrated the need for its removal.
Phil Horne, an attorney advising Occupy supporters, said that the city was improperly blaming those at the teepee for problems at the plaza and that he would file a lawsuit seeking to preserve the teepee.
"You don't need a permit to exercise your First Amendment rights," he said.
City officials in late November granted Von Behren a temporary permit to install the teepee and table between two trees on the north side of the plaza so that Occupy supporters could maintain a presence there. The permit, which had to be renewed weekly, prohibited cooking, food storage and alcohol consumption and required that the teepee be taken down each night by 10 p.m. and that the teepee area remain free of litter.
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6435.