Oakland Fences Down Tonight

By Scott Morris(BCN)
Wednesday October 26, 2011 - 09:56:00 PM

The fences are coming down at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza this evening while a general assembly meeting continues among "Occupy Oakland" protesters. 

At least 500 protesters gathered at the plaza to reclaim the site of their encampment, which was raided by police early Tuesday morning. 

The entire plaza was not barricaded this evening as it had been Tuesday night, but the grass area of the plaza was blocked by a chain-link fence. 

Many of the protesters jeered when a small group tried to take the fences down earlier this evening.  

"I see this as a trap," said a speaker at the meeting, pointing to the fence surrounding the grass area of the plaza. "They're hoping we walk right into this trap." 

At around 7 p.m. around 50 to 100 protesters succeed in tearing down sections of the fence on the opposite side of the plaza from where the meeting is taking place. 

The group entered the grassy area, which city officials earlier today said was in the process of being cleaned using chemicals. 

Tuesday night, police blocked the entire plaza including surrounding streets and kept the protesters from entering using tear gas, rubber bullets and smoke grenades. 

Compared to Tuesday night's demonstration, the police presence this evening is much less prevalent and the gathering has been peaceful.  

This evening, protesters sat in a circle in the amphitheater in front of City Hall to hold their general assembly meeting, as they did every night when the Oakland encampment occupied the plaza. 

Protesters at the meeting tonight announced that "Occupy Wall Street" -- the protest that inspired "Occupy Oakland" -- donated $20,000 to the Oakland demonstration. 

Speakers this evening urged protesters to keep the commitment to nonviolence. 

"The 99 percent should have a monopoly on peace," one speaker said.