This has been a tough few weeks for Oakland and for me as your Mayor. The national 99% movement continues to evolve, here in Oakland my goal all along is to balance the public’s right to free speech with the City’s responsibility for public safety. It’s been a delicate balance where whatever the decision, some will be unhappy.
The reasons we closed the encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza need to be clear to everyone:
Occupy Oakland was unable to vote for non-violence or even for a group to meet with city representatives, the camp was unsafe for everyone. The murder last Thursday was only one of many incidents.
The economic impact on all the Downtown, Chinatown and other nearby businesses was costing the city jobs.
The drain on the resources of the whole city were unacceptable. The constant pull of police from neighborhoods coincided with an increase of shootings in the neighborhoods. The total cost will be around $3 million.
It’s not hard to ask what the cost to the City would have been if the encampment had been left alone and resources were used toward regular maintenance?