OPD Chief Jordan complains Occupy Oakland is too clean

Posted on 04 January 2012 by geekeasy


Last night at 5pm Oakland’s Police Chief gave notice that permit for the peaceful vigil would not be renewed, and that the teepee and info table must be removed at once.

Among his justifications for revoking the permit was that in the vicinity of the the vigil, people had brought in garbage cans and there was food. What?

Chief Jordan is worried people brought in extra garbage cans into the plaza?  The existing trash cans were full.  Would Chief Jordan prefer trash be thrown on the ground, rather than into garbage cans freely provided by occupiers?  Was he seriously concerned that sanitary standards were too high?

As for his complaint that people were sharing food with their friends, what’s wrong with that?  Picnics, according to Chief Jordan, seem to present a danger to the community.

The city had previously given somewhat reasonable sounding concerns about “violence”, but they’re are now just being preposterous.

Protesters have been cited or arrested for: * having a bike in the plaza * pushing a cart * having a yoga mat * having a blanket * trying to bring in a porta-potty

* loitering (despite Jordan’s statements that people had a right to be in plaza 24 hours a day)

It would all be extremely amusing, except for the fact that protesters are spending time in jail for these offenses.  Though, in almost all of these cases the DA has recognized the absurdity of the charges and refused to prosecute… only after the person spent a long weekend in jail.

The city needs to stop this nonsense, stop harassing protesters, and focus on the real problems and real crimes which are going on in Oakland.

The right to protest is a bedrock of American values.  It’s another sad joke that Chief Jordan says that people have a right to protest 24 hours a day, while actively trying to deny them food and bathrooms.  The morally right, and indeed the American thing to do, is to allow peaceful protesters to bring in amenities like toilets (if the city won’t provide them), food to eat, and blankets on cold nights.

In defense of their First Amendment rights, Occupiers have moved the vigil from a relatively hidden spot in the back of City Hall Plaza to the corner of 14th and Broadway.


Adam Katz
Occupy Supporter and Concerned Oakland Citizen