East Bay News
Michael Moore welcomed by 'Occupy' protesters
raw video: Police fire tear gas at protesters
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Tear gas and a show of force didn't work so well earlier this week. Now, the city of Oakland is taking a different approach to dealing with the "Occupy Oakland" protesters, asking nicely that they stop camping overnight at Frank Ogawa Plaza. Meanwhile, the tent city continues to re-grow and Friday, celebrity filmmaker Michael Moore made an appearance and spoke to protesters.
Moore received a huge ovation from hundreds of demonstrators who have re-established their camp at Frank Ogawa Plaza.
"It happened organically, from the grassroots, the true grassroots, and in my lifetime I have never seen a movement like this take hold this fast with this many people all across the country," said Moore.
The mayor and the moviemaker went back and forth on Twitter a little and in the end Moore refused to meet with Mayor Jean Quan, just as the demonstrators refused to hear what she had to say when she tried to speak at Frank Ogawa Plaza Thursday night. She was heckled and booed by the crowd.
"I wanted to talk with them. I stayed here most of last night, went over quickly for an OEC meeting and then came back, I tried to talk to them, we still want to talk with them," said Quan.
On Moore's Twitter page, he tweeted that someone in the crowd handed him a note earlier asking him to meet with Quan. He tweeted back to Quan saying that he is not Occupy Oakland and that she should address the general assembly directly. Here are the actual Tweets:
- @jeanquan: I hear Mr. Moore wants to meet with me. I support the 99% and welcome the opportunity. (Posted around 4 p.m. Friday)
@MMFlint: Amazing day in Oakland. A note was handed to me: "The mayor would like to see you." (Posted around 7 p.m. Friday)
@MMFlint: I will not meet with the Oakland mayor. I am not #OccupyOakland. She should come and face the General Assembly. We're a peaceful ppl. (Posted around 7 or 8 p.m. Friday)
While Moore was boosting morale in the plaza, Quan and Police Chief Howard Jordan held a news conference inside City Hall. Chief Jordan said he visited Scott Olsen on Friday. He's the Iraq vet injured in Tuesday's clash between Occupy marchers and the police. Jordan was not able to talk to Olsen, but he did speak to his parents.
"I expressed my sorrow for what happened," said Jordan.
Moore also asked the crowd for a moment of silence for Olsen who is still in fair condition. He suffered a fractured skull when he was struck by a projectile during Tuesday's clash between protesters and police. Doctors are hopeful he'll make a full recovery.
Quan was asked by ABC7 why the tents are back after it cost so much in money, pain and suffering on both sides to remove them. Seven police officers were also injured Tuesday night.
"We're not exactly letting them, but again when we moved last week it was an issue of safety and we are trying to meet with them. We don't want them to camp downtown," said Quan.
At the press conference Quan also announced that an investigation into Tuesday's police action will be released sometime next week.
Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris says he has been contacted by several demonstrators interested in suing the city over police actions Tuesday night.
"We are evaluating each one of those to determine if constitutional rights have been violated," said Burris. "No decisions have been made as to whether any litigation is going to take place."
At the very least, it appears the events of this week have drawn a few new faces to the movement, like Iraq War veteran Dave Bischel.
"It was last Tuesday night here in Oakland, what the Oakland Police Department did to a fellow Iraq veteran when he went down, it kind of motivated me," said Bischel.
However, the tents are back up and now the Occupy camp is calling a general strike for Wednesday -- something that hasn't happened here since 1946.
Quan said she is taking a day-by-day approach to the camp. Health inspectors will be monitoring the situation and taking tours of the encampment to check on the conditions.
oakland, occupy wall street, OPD, wall street, economy, protest, jean quan, celebrity, east bay news
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