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Police break up protester camp at Occupy Oakland

US police move against Occupy movement, clear Oakland camp in California

Reuters , Tuesday 25 Oct 2011
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Police cleared out protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement in Oakland, California, early on Tuesday, breaking up a camp near city hall that has been the site of two weeks of demonstrations, a city spokeswoman said.

Oakland city spokeswoman Karen Boyd said she did not know how many of the protesters had been arrested in what the city described as an enforcement action at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

"We have contained the plaza, we are in the process of mobilizing the clean-up phase," Boyd said.

The city said in a statement it had told protesters last Thursday to cease overnight camping and cooking at the plaza. More warnings were issued on Friday and Monday. Daytime demonstrations will be permitted, the city said.

Officials said police began to clear the plaza at about 4:30am / 11:30 GMT and had "contained" the area in about an hour.

Businesses were asked to delay opening indefinitely on Tuesday and city employees were advised to delay their arrival at work. A nearby rail station was closed and buses rerouted temporarily, the city said.

A statement from the city said conditions at the plaza had started to deteriorate by the second week with police, fire and medical personnel saying they were denied access to the plaza to respond to calls.

The protest was the Oakland version of the movement launched more than a month ago as Occupy Wall Street in New York.

The protests focus on anger over government bailouts of big banks and persistent high unemployment, and have sprung up across the United States and in other countries.

Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested in New York since the protests began. There have also been numerous arrests in other cities.

In the past week, Chicago police arrested about 130 protesters in Grant Park, the site of demonstrations during the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, and another 15 people at a protest in Philadelphia.

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