After a shooting death at the Occupy Oakland encampment, Oakland's city fathers - well, really, mothers - are planning another eviction.
After an intense day of behind-closed-door meetings Friday, Oakland officials are moving forward with plans to evict Occupy Oakland from Frank Ogawa Plaza.
The eviction, which has the blessing of a majority of the City Council and the reluctant concurrence of Mayor Jean Quan, is likely to come sooner rather than later.
That's the word we're getting from several officials who were in on the meetings Friday, trying to find a way out of the mess surrounding the month-old encampment outside City Hall.
The first move: The notice that police handed out to Occupiers on Friday afternoon, telling them all tents, cooking utensils and the like must go and that anyone sleeping in the plaza overnight "will be subject to arrest."
The order came after an afternoon meeting that included Quan, interim Police Chief Howard Jordan, City Administrator Deanna Santana and City Council President Larry Reid
(just as a parenthetical, I'd like to note that we don't know the identity of the guy who was murdered, nor do we have any descriptions of the suspect(s), even though the shooting happened in broad daylight across the street from City Hall in front of dozens of witnesses including members of the media. Just underscores how the Occupiers are a criminal element and heartless to boot).
Oakland should have stuck with the original eviction, especially after it descended into chaotic rioting, but most progressive politicians and their constituents (especially white-bread bureaucrats and teachers), suffer from the leftist's Walter Mitty fantasy that they are bad-ass street rebels. It was no surprise when Occupiers began to attack the police, and it wasn't a surprise when Oakland's socialist mayor meekly let the Occupiers return to City Hall. Speaking of Jean Quan, she still hasn't bought into the idea that the City should evict the Occupiers.
According to sources, Quan went into the meeting asking for more time for negotiations with Occupy Oakland, suggesting that its camp be transplanted to nearby Jefferson Park while an unidentified benefactor tries to line up an empty building for the movement.
Time, however, is not something that other officials and public safety workers believe the city can spare. And when the meeting ended, Quan agreed to a police sweep if and when Jordan finds one necessary.
For those of you wondering how someone could be dumb enough to wreck their mayorality over these bums, well, it happened 20 years ago in SF when then-mayor Art Agnos let the homeless set up camp next to City Hall. The idea was to dramatize the alleged horrors of the George HW Bush recession - supposedly the worst economy since the Great Depression - but quickly degenerated into a squalid mess. But, no matter how bad it got, Agnos could never bring himself to roust the homeless. It became a big issue that eventually scuttled his re-election, and was the last time SF elected a real leftist as mayor*. Quan is simply serving the interests of her "base" - that base being the thugs, revolutionaries, public employees, and useful idiots who are the foot soldiers for the progressive left.
Oakland, you'll be happy to know, is going to be doing this alone. During the previous eviction, other law enforcement agencies, including the Alameda County Sheriff, and the police departments from neighboring municipalities, pitched in to help. Not this time.
The Alameda County Sheriff's Department now wants to be paid, rather than picking up its own costs for deputies' participation.
"It's not an emergency anymore," said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson. "They basically allowed this to happen when the mayor allowed the encampment to come back in" after the Oct. 25 sweep.
"It's changed from an emergency call to a planned event," Nelson said.
Other agencies are also balking. The city of Alameda says it wants to be protected from any possible lawsuits that might result from its officers' actions.
Plus, other demonstrations planned next week at UC Berkeley and Cal State East Bay are likely to tie up UC and Hayward police, along with sheriff's deputies.
Just desserts, but also a signal that this latest eviction may not work either, especially with the thoroughly unreliable Quan who will be able to throw the police under the bus at the first sign of trouble. We may yet see the spectacle of Gov. Brown, who also happens to have been mayor of Oakland, calling in the National Guard to settle this business once and for all.
*you'll be happy to know that Agnos failed upward into a job with Bill Clinton's HUD where he did some admittedly good work tearing down SF's truly awful housing projects and replacing them with more family friendly developments.