Deadly violence and a police crackdown sent shock waves through East Bay Occupy encampments, prompting an about-face by supportive local officials weary of safety threats and the strain on city resources.
On Thursday evening, a young man was shot and killed near the Occupy Oakland encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza. The Oakland Tribune reported several accounts from witnesses, who pegged the shooting to a scuffle between a group unaffiliated with occupiers at the encampment.
Witness Mike Tarmo told the Oakland Tribune:
“There were 20 Occupy guys going to help (the shooting victim), saying, Stop! Stop!”
Other witnesses reported hearing four to six gunshots near the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway before discovering the man, who had been shot in the head.
Several outlets report the man died at an area hospital, as hundreds of onlookers gathered at the scene and formed a candlelight vigil. Occupy Oakland campers had been preparing to celebrate the encampment’s one month anniversary.
Elsewhere, Occupy Cal protesters at UC Berkeley were regrouping a day after police raided an encampment and made dozens of arrests Wednesday evening.
Student protesters, who linked arms and blocked campus police from a small tent camp, were beaten with batons after disobeying the order to clear out Wednesday evening. The following day, protesters had attempted to reestablish the camp and were organizing a larger demonstration for next week.
And in The City, a 23-year-old man was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly brandishing an unloaded handgun inside the Occupy SF encampment at San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza.