Police clearing OWS Oakland

The OWS Oakland contingent, camped out in Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall, is being cleared out by the Oakland Police this morning. According to local news reports, the police began assembling at 3 AM, and moved into the plaza at about 5 AM, awakening and arresting demonstrators who refused to leave. Live pictures have been shown on local TV news of people in plastic handcuffs being led and carried away and other coverage.

Reportedly, media were kept at a distance at first, but so far there are no reports of resistance.  Traffic is being diverted around the area, and the BART (subway) stop at 12th Street below the area has been closed. The station at 19th Street remains open.

It is still dark here in the Bay Area, but the media swarm has begun. Expect more pictures during the day.

Update: A reported hundred people are demonstrating against the police action on Broadway, downtown's main drag in front of City Hall, which remains closed to traffic..

Mayor Bloomberg, it is your turn

Rick Moran adds:

Police from 10 different agencies descended on the park across from city hall in Oakland and arrested dozens of campers belonging to the local OWS movement.

Now why on earth would they want to break up the party?


Officials initially waived city laws that ban camping and allowed the occupation of the plaza. But since Thursday, the city has issued of series of orders for protesters to vacate the area, citing concerns about fire hazards, sanitation issues, graffiti, drug use and violence.

Officials said protesters had plugged power cords into city utility poles and had denied access to emergency responders who needed to get into the plaza. The city was also alarmed by the activists' decision to try to police themselves with a volunteer security team.

Protesters had vowed to resist eviction and protect an encampment of about 150 tents, where pathways made of wooden pallets connected a kitchen, a garden, a medical station and an area for children to play.

For more than an hour before the police moved in, several hundred people appeared ready to defend the camp, placing Dumpsters, boards, pallets and even metal police-style barricades around the plaza as blockades.

After the mass arrests, protesters vowed to return.

The Oakland protestors shouldn't worry so much. They have been granted immortality by Zombie who has published more than 60 photos of their wild and wacky world.

This morning at Memeorandum, there are 5 articles on OWS and its satellite protests around the country. On any given day there are 10 or more. The amount of coverage this "movement" is receiving is extraordinary by any measurement.

So where are all the protestors? Shouldn't a "mass movement" have like, you know, mass?

"Dozens" of protestors removed from the park in Oakland. A few hundred - at most - OWS campers in New York. Far smaller protests elsewhere.

And when it comes time to march, do tens of thousands of like minded citizens show up in support of OWS and its imitators?

Two weeks ago there were about 5,000 protestors who "occupied" Times Square. On a Saturday. In one of the largest cities in the world. There were about 3,000 protestors at an Occupy Chicago march this past Saturday night. It was a beautiful evening and yet, the OWS Chicago protestors could only muster a measly 3,000 souls?

These are questions that a normal media would be asking as it falls all over itself, competing to see who can describe in the most glowing terms this new "mass movement" - a revolution, an instoppable force...

Phooey. Show me some warm bodies and then I'll be convinced this is anything but a small number of extremely radical leftists being pimped by a media desperate to counter the political impact of the Tea Party.

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