Murder at Occupy Oakland leads Mayor Quan to call for end of tent city
It required the death of an as yet unnamed young man, but hapless Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has finally reversed herself and is calling for an end to encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall.
Matthai Kuruvila,Demian Bulwa of the San Francisco Chronicle report:
A young man was fatally shot Thursday evening just yards from the Occupy Oakland encampment outside City Hall. And before the ambulance had even pulled away, people were debating whether the killing was somehow linked to the month-old gathering.
The man, whom several Occupy campers said they did not recognize, was shot in the head at about 5 p.m. outside a BART station exit in Frank Ogawa Plaza, at 14th Street and Broadway. He was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he was pronounced dead, said interim Police Chief Howard Jordan. (snip)
Mayor Jean Quan held a news conference and announced that the city was planning, once again, to remove the Occupy camp.
"The risks are too great for having an encampment out there," Quan said. "It's time for the encampment to end."
Welcome back to Planet Earth, Mayor Quan. What took you so long? Tolerating a lawless zone anywhere, much less in the heart of downtown, is poison for civic society. Already, many small businesses in the neighborhood have been driven to the wall.
Downtown Oakland has been fighting a battle for economic survival for many years, with fear of crime a major factor affecting bars, restaurants, and other businesses open in the evening. In recent years, three skyscrapers housing federal and state offices have been built there, directly behind Frank Ogawa Plaza, in an effort to keep downtown Oakland bustling and full of customers for the adjacent small businesses.
All of these efforts are now imperiled by the demonstrators who insist on their right to break the law and appropriate public property to their own use, in effect creating a lawless zone in the heart of the city. It would not seem to require a lot of brainpower to understand that a lawless zone in a city troubled by street crime and murder is going to lead to mayhem and death. It didn't take long.
At least Mayor Quan has awakened (temporarily, I suspect) from her delusional state. It is too late for the murder victim, and it may be too late for the local small businesses that have suffered an enormous hit. Vacant storefronts, office space, and bankrupt restaurants are likely to multiply, leaving downtown Oakland desolate and depressing. Mayor Quan's previous support for the Occupiers helped bring about this disaster. She should face a recall election.