Police Make Arrests At Homeless Camp Beside Oakland City Hall

Holly Quan
November 25, 2019 - 9:04 am
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 06: An Oakland Police patrol car sits in front of the Oakland Police headquarters on December 6, 2012 in Oakland, California. Oakland City officials have come to an agreement to forfeit broad power over the Oakland Police Department

(Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Police in Oakland arrested at least 20 people early Monday as authorities broke up a camp on the plaza outside of city hall that was protesting homelessness. 

Protesters had begun building the self-proclaimed Housing Justice Village with tents Sunday at Frank Ogawa Plaza. They had demanded that the city cease development of market-rate housing and set aside 14 parcels of land that would be dedicated as sanctuaries for people without homes. 

One activist, who has been homeless since being evicted two years ago, complained that Oakland officials are merciless when clearing out such settlements, often disposing of the few valuable possessions a homeless person can carry.

The same activist, who said her name was Needa, said the city should stop building Tuff Shed cabins for people looking for homes and do more to support "curbside communities." 

City officials said they support the right to protest, but there's a municipal code that closes the park at 10 p.m.

The scene called to mind the Occupy Oakland protests that at times gained control of Frank Ogawa Plaza and preceded violent clashes with police, leading to hundreds of arrests in 2011-2012.