Up Close at the Police Shutdown of Occupy Oakland's Encampment

As riot police dismantled a tent city this morning, some protesters prayed, argued, or handed out donuts. But most just packed up and left.

occupy2.jpg

Julie Dermansky

Before sunrise this morning, hundreds of police officers from seven cities and counties formed stoic lines outside Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza, dressed in full riot gear and clutching batons. Since Friday, they had been issuing cease and desist orders to approximately 300 Occupy Oakland protesters who were camping out across from City Hall. Now they blocked the plaza's entrances and made their way through the tent city. 

Members of the media were allowed limited access as police dismantled the encampment, handling valuables with care and refraining from using force or tear gas. Some protesters argued with the police. Others taunted them or offered them donuts. One group of religious activists stood inside a circle of candles and refused to leave; they were among 32 participants who were arrested this morning.

But for the most part, the protesters cooperated. By the time the sun had fully risen, the plaza was nearly empty and hazmat crews were cleaning the area. Below are some scenes from the eviction.

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Julie Dermansky is a multimedia reporter and artist based in New Orleans. She is an affiliate scholar at Rutgers University's Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights. Visit her website at www.jsdart.com.

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