One thousand "Occupy" demonstrators walked through downtown Oakland Saturday. Despite public officials saying that overnight protest camps will no longer be permitted, KTVU reports that a handful of protesters have begun to set up tents. A mass day of action was planned for Saturday on the group's website, as NBC Bay Area reports that the group planned on establishing a new encampment. Occupy Oakland had a large scale forceable eviction earlier this month, the first of its kind. The eviction brought heavy criticism to the city's mayor and police department,while galvanizing encampments nationwide. ABC 7 reports on Occupy Oakland march through Downtown Oakland Saturday:
The San Jose Mercury News reports that Saturday's protest remained peaceful throughout the afternoon until demonstrators knocked down a chain-link fence surrounding a vacant city-owned lot which the group had targeted, claiming it as the new site for Occupy Oakland. Oakland Tribune video shows protesters knocking down fences around their targeted camp:
"'More tents! More tents!' one protest organizer shouted over a sound system which was rolled onto the dirt lot at about 6 p.m., asking people to solicit tent and blanket donations via phone and tweets. "
Saturday's defiant campaign comes after Police removed the main Occupy Oakland encampment once again last Monday. The new camp established Saturday is five blocks away from where Occupy Oakland was evicted during a pre-dawn police raid early last week.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that police had set up a perimeter around the new site Saturday. But hundreds of demonstrators who had just concluded a march through downtown got past officers with ease and without confrontation.
Police spokeswoman Johnna Watson told KTVU that there have been no arrests or citations, but the city's position remains that the protesters can't stay overnight.