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Sit-in underway at children’s center

on August 27, 2010

Despite plans to close eight early childhood development centers Monday, Oakland schools’ Superintendent Tony Smith said Friday that funds had been found to keep six of those centers open. However, North Oakland’s Golden Gate Childhood Development Center is still slated for closure. In response, members the local group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) began what they called an all-night occupation of the center in the early afternoon.

“I believe that the only success is if we keep fighting,” Mark Airgood said. Airgood is a BAMN member and wa sthe sole occupier of the building by 7 p.m. this evening. He is also the treasurer of the Oakland teachers’ union.

Oakland police officers responded to the scene, but no arrests were made. After hours of negotiations between police, Airgood and the director of the district’s early childhood education office, Lynne Redenzo, Airgood left the building but remained on the grounds. He said at 7:30 p.m. that he was deciding whether or not to stay for the night.

Redenzo declined to comment as she left the building with police after locking the fence to the CDC’s grounds.

Lillian Mongeau contributed reporting to this article.

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