Teepee remains in Oakland plaza though permit is revoked 

click to enlarge AP FILE PHOTO
  • AP file photo

A teepee and a table set up by Occupy Oakland activists remained at Frank Ogawa Plaza on Tuesday even though city officials say they've revoked activists' permit for the items.

Sitting at the table, which is next to the teepee, a protester who said his name is Drew said, "People will be here as long as they want to be here."

Drew said "this is my house" and said he's been at the plaza most of the time since Occupy Oakland protesters set up an encampment there in October.

Police shut down the encampment on Nov. 14 but on Nov. 29 protesters got a permit to erect a teepee with the condition that they take it down at 10 p.m. every night. They can then erect it again at 6 a.m. every morning.

The teepee is divided into numerous sections that carry a variety of messages, including a section that says, "This is sacred space."

Drew said, "We're complying with all the rules and regulations."

But Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said police and city officials have revoked the permit because protesters have violated many of the permit's conditions, such as storing personal belongings, including sleeping bags and food, erecting garbage cans and distributing food without health permits.

Police Chief Howard Jordan added in a statement that protesters "have impeded and confronted law enforcement officers with hostility, threats, and violence when the officers have attempted to curtail violations of the permit or nuisances and illegal activity attracted by the permitted activity."

Watson said 13 people were arrested at the plaza on Friday, including on charges of battery on an officer, assault with a deadly weapon on an officer, urging a riot and delaying or obstructing officers.

Several protesters have camped at a tree in the plaza but no one was in the tree Tuesday afternoon.

At 3 p.m. Tuesday two men in the plaza got into an angry shouting match and nearly started to fight but were quickly pulled out apart by several other men who were hanging out in the plaza as well as by police officers who are keeping an eye on the plaza.

Phil Horne, a legal representative for Occupy Oakland, said the city's revocation of the permit is "totally ridiculous."

According to Horne, the permit states that city officials must give the permit holder notice of the alleged violations and allow time for those violations to be fixed.

Horne said the permit holder and the activists' legal representatives heard about Tuesday's decision to revoke the permit through the media.

The permit also says that the permit holders are not responsible for actions that occur outside of its defined limits and many of the alleged violations -- including food distribution -- are not within those limits, according to Horne.

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