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Group opposed to Occupy Oakland gathers at City Hall for protest

on February 6, 2012

Oakland Police officers and protesters wrestle over sound equipment after police attempted to confiscate it at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Two groups of protesters gathered in Frank Ogawa Plaza on Monday afternoon—one in support of Occupy Oakland, the other made up of people who said the ongoing protest is a drain on city resources.

At around 11:45 am, about 50 people from a group that is calling itself “Stand for Oakland” stood on the steps of Oakland City Hall displaying a green and yellow banner that bore their name. The group is made up of residents and local business owners, including Oakland Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Director Paul Junge.

Many in the group said they had grown tired of the property destruction and vandalism that have accompanied some Occupy Oakland protests, and are concerned about the law enforcement time and city money allocated to policing the protests.

“I’m just tired of the whole movement. It just seems that all they’ve caused is a lot of destruction and conflict,” said Oakland resident David Abdullah as he stood on the city hall steps behind the banner. “As an Oakland resident, I’ve just had enough, and I’m out here with all these people that feel the same way. We’ve had enough.”

As Occupy Oakland protesters began arriving for a planned afternoon march from the plaza to Wiley Manual Courthouse on Washington Street, some began shouting “These are the people that call the cops!” at the people on the steps of city hall, many of whom were wearing “Stand for Oakland” green armbands.

But there was also some emotionally-charged discussion between the two groups about tactics both the police and protesters have used in the dozens of marches and events that have happened since Occupy Oakland first began setting up tents in front of city hall in October.

“You have to take some responsibility. You’re pulling the police away from where they’re needed in East and West Oakland,” Bruce Stoffmacher, who works for City Councilmember Libby Schaaf, said to an Occupy Oakland protester named Ayr as they spoke on the steps.

“They should go there if that’s where they’re needed,” Ayr replied. “But I have a bigger concern because I don’t really see them solving problems.”

As the two protest groups faced off on the steps, Occupy Oakland organizers began setting up speakers and sound equipment in the plaza in preparation for a pre-march rally. At about 12:30 pm, police from a van parked on 14th Street began announcing that “operation of a sound system without a permit is a violation of the Oakland Municipal Code” and that failure to turn off the sound equipment could lead to a citation.

While the people speaking soon quieted, someone played Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” on the speakers. About five police officers dressed in riot gear then began to move through the crowd, evidently in search of the sound equipment, and then struggled with a big mob with protesters to grab the generator that was used to power the sound system, before the group escaped and ran toward Broadway. Some speakers were confiscated by police, according to some Occupy Oakland protesters.

Many of the protesters began chanting, “When Oakland is under attack, what do we do? Fight back!” as police moved through the plaza. Shortly before 12:45 pm, most of the police present in riot gear left the plaza in a van waiting on 14th Street. Shortly thereafter, the Occupy protesters began marching down Broadway toward the courthouse.

Omar Yassin, an Occupy Oakland protester, said the “Stand for Oakland” protest was a “cheap ploy” by Mayor Jean Quan, and the show of support from Junge proves that the Chamber of Commerce was behind the event. “He doesn’t have their interests at heart. He has the interests of every single Chamber of Commerce in America who has the interest of corporations and large real estate firms,” Yassin said.

Jill Broadhurst, a member of a District 4 neighborhood crime prevention council, was passing out the green armbands to “Stand for Oakland” supporters. She said that most of the people who came out to support that group were from similar crime prevention groups or were citizens concerned that Occupy was taking away too many of the city’s resources.

“They’re not necessarily against the Occupy movement,” Broadhurst said of “Stand for Oakland” supporters. “But with Oakland in the challenging times that it is, residents really to do feel that police officers are not around to take care of issues, and just answering phone calls, because they’re dealing with the activities downtown. And I don’t think what is going on down here by [Occupy protesters] is representative of the residents of Oakland.”

You can see Oakland North’s complete coverage of Occupy Oakland here. 


  1. Jackie Thomason on February 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    We all agree that the police should be dealing with crime instead of harassing and beating those people who are with Occupy. It is criminal that this is how the city is using it’s human and financial resources. I hope these people express outrage where it belongs — at the city administrator, mayor, chief of police, and city council for their ridiculous, incompetent, and criminal behavior. And that they leave Occupy alone.

    By the way, did the “We Stand for Oakland” group have a permit for their protest today?

    • Jimmy Chan on February 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      According to the Chronicle, yes “Stand for Oakland” had a permit.

    • SkylineHigh2011Grad on February 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      Perhaps when Occupy Oakland can show that it can control the few who are hellbent on causing property damage (or seeking conflict with law enforcement), until then, adult supervision but yes, the limited police resources should be out there under the 580 freeway serving Oakland residents, not dealing with people from other Bay Area cities but dealing with the rash of shootings lately.

      • Prole Rojas on February 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm

        The problem with the Occupy movement is not its tactics but its strategy or,better yet ,the lack of one.Any resistance movement of some significance is going to,eventually,have to confront the police in the streets for the police is the arm of the state in charge of maintaining the status quo=The bail-outs of banks and corporations and the housing foreclosures;the high compensations for CEOs,CFOs,etc and the high unemployment and lowe wages for workers;the allocation of funds to wage wars abroad and the curtailment of freedoms internally,and so on.
        The problem with Occupy=The first thing these people don’t understand is numbers; the numbers necessary to carry out their tactics without burning activists in adventurist actions:They’re not even a one percent. Their total lack of insertion or practice in the working class .Their sectarian and thuggish way of carrying out their internal discussions.Their lack of alternative political objectives reflected in their invitations to operatives of the Democratic Party and suporters of Barack Obama, like Michael Moore and Robert Reich,to give them long harangues.
        These are jus a few of their shortcomings,just for the sake of brevity.

    • Jan on February 11, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      No Jackie, we “all” don’t agree. You don’t speak for the average Oakland resident any more than Occupy Oakland does.

  2. Hugh Hoang on February 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    As a resident of West Oakland I want to say to the Occupy Movement, “Get the Hell out of our Town!”

    Somebody should tell these “Occupiers” they missed Wall St by….3000 MILES!!

    Sometimes I’m simply appalled by the shear stupidity of the human species…and that is probably the most positive thing I can say about the Occupy Movement.

    After costing our budget deficit city over $3 million plus they have the audacity to come to our community, destroy our community, and say THEY represent us! I’m sorry….who are you again?

    How dare you! SIMPLY, HOW DARE YOU!!

    Oakland is one of the lowest income communities in all the Bay Area.
    The low income of our community are the most dependent on our community services, our police department, our fire departments, our libraries, a plethora of services financed by Property Taxes, Business Taxes etc etc.

    Way to go Occupy! Way to stick it to em Wall Streeter’s. Destroy Oakland, that’ll show them Wall Streeter’s to mess with you.

    Do you even think that Wall Street even knows where Oakland is let alone have ever been to Oakland?

    Answer: NO


  3. Kay Jay on February 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Where do I go to join the Stand For Oakland group?

  4. Matt Chambers on February 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I stood for Oakland at the rally. We are not puppets of the Mayor or City Council. We’re a diverse lot with a common love for Oakland. I went to the rally with an open mind hoping to find some common ground with OO, but I was really let down. A dozen or so OO supporters came up to us to say… you’re this… you’re that… you just don’t get it… you’re the problem. What had we done? All we did was put on arm bands that read “I STAND FOR OAKLAND” and raised a banner that said “Stand for Oakland” and suddenly they knew each of us and we were the new enemy? They had no interest in what we had to say. They couldn’t accept we were not there to make a political statement that all we want is for our police and political leadership to be able to focus on the needs of the residents of Oakland –that’s all.

  5. livegreen on February 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    “a cheap ploy” by Mayor Quan said an OO activist? You’ve got to be kidding.

    Anybody who knows Oakland politics knows it would be impossible for the Mayor to get Nancy Sidebothem, Councilwomen Desley Brooks, Charlie Pine, Jill Broadhurst, etc. etc. out to support her.

    The fact that they are all on the same side with the Mayor in this shows just how far OO has gone in alienating it’s initial base of support.

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