Quan supporters (if there are any left in Oakland) wonder why there is a huge movement to get her out of office. She doesn’t even want her own residents, who voted her into office, reserving their right to occupy.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan acknowledged that the city did not have “enough police in the afternoon” during Wednesday’s Occupy Oakland protest, when vandals smashed windows at some downtown banks and a Whole Foods Market.
At a press conference on Thursday, she said it was “so important that people stepped in” when some demonstrators became violent, but added that violence “shouldn’t mar the overall impact of the demonstration and the fact that people in the 99 percent movement demonstrated peacefully.”
By the end of the night, police had arrested approximately 80 people. Five demonstrators and three police officers were injured, including one who was bitten by a suspect, according to interim police Chief Howard Jordan. One individual was taken into custody on felony vandalism charges for breaking windows.
Both Quan and Jordan acknowledged that the demonstrations were taxing the police department’s overtime budget, and its ability to respond to crimes in other parts of the city.
“We don’t have a lot of extra money,” said Quan. “It will mean that the community will get less services.”
Jordan said, “We have enough people to respond to priority calls,” but he declined to specify what constituted a priority.
Quan defended the city’s response to the demonstration. “Throughout this situation we’ve been trying to balance people’s rights to protest and keeping people safe. I think that yesterday we did that.”
She said she understood some Oakland residents frustrations with the on-going encampment in the plaza in front of City Hall. “People support the movement in general, but they don’t want it in their backyard,” she said.
As for the future of the tent city, “if they can’t contain the violence, they’ll need to move the camp to a more appropriate place,” Quan said. When asked where that might be, she joked: “San Francisco.”