East Bay News

Many folks fed up with Occupy demonstration vandalism

Monday, October 08, 2012

Occupy Oakland demonstrators vandalized businesses, banks and City Hall Sunday night. Most financial institutions were closed in observance of the Columbus Day holiday, but contractors are busy cleaning up.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan wanted Monday night to be about the success of the Oakland A's and their success in making into playoffs. This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Oakland movement. Once again demonstrators took to the streets, costing thousands of dollars of damage.

"It just makes me feel terrible about what's happening in Oakland," said Oakland resident Matthew Krupp.

Krupp, like many who live in Oakland, believes his city has seen enough of the violence and angry protests that have become commonplace.

"There's a lot of opportunity here, a lot of great things happening," said Krupp.

His positive tone took a backseat when he woke-up to learn that City Hall and area businesses, had once again, been the target of protesters intent on causing damage.

"When we have people going around breaking glass, destroying property, it just takes away from everything happening here in Oakland, all the exciting things that are happening," said Krupp.

One custom glass will not be easy to repair or cheap to replace. According to an employee, each pane is $6,000 and demonstrators broke 12. One ATM was on the receiving end of a destructive rage and the doors at City Hall were no match for the force shown by protesters. Police say, for 30 minutes, a mob of about 200 used bricks and pipes to smash and crash their way through downtown.

This time, breaking glass was not their only attention-getting tactic. Vandals have added something new to their destructive arsenal -- paint. The thick goo was splashed across City Hall.

Oakland Police have been criticized in the past for their response to protestors. The department has been under a microscope since the threat of a possible federal takeover. With no prior warning, police were outnumbered and made no arrests Sunday night.

"If we don't feel we can safely approach that crowd of 250 without the officers getting hurt and also innocent civilians, then we have to take a 'wait and watch' type of situation," said Oakland Police Capt. David Downing.

Protestors breaking everything in sight and police using a "stand-back-and-watch" approach, has some asking if this has become Oakland's new normal. Those who live and work in the middle of it, sure hope not.

"By destroying buildings, whether they're public buildings or private buildings, it just makes it harder for all of us to live here," said Krupp.

We could see more from Occupy Oakland this week. The group is marking the one year anniversary of the setting up camp at the steps of City Hall.

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oakland, vandalism, protest, occupy oakland, occupy movement, east bay news
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