While Occupy SF protesters are settling in for the long haul in Justin Herman Plaza, Oakland police this morning are enforcing a notice of violation issued last week to protesters at the downtown Occupy Oakland encampment, removing protesters and tents, city officials said.
The police action began around 4:40 a.m. when an officer on a loud speaker told the protesters they were illegally blocking the plaza and were subject to arrest, according to The Associated Press.
Television news footage showed numerous people in plastic handcuffs being led away from the site by police around 5 a.m. The protesters did not appear to be resisting, although an officer did fire a nonlethal projectile from a shotgun at a protester who lobbed a bottle, AP reports.
Livestream footage from Frank Ogawa Plaza showed many police in riot gear surrounding the camp at Broadway and 14th Street. Footage from the area also showed officers disassembling tents.
Police maintained a heavy presence around downtown Oakland into the morning. Streets were closed off by police barricades, and at least two helicopters were in the air shining lights down. Dozens of officers were in the streets.
A small group of people near the plaza were seen dragging police barricades into the street as police stood nearby.
A message for a police spokeswoman by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.
City officials are advising downtown Oakland employers to consider having employees delay their arrival downtown this morning after the police action.
City spokeswoman Karen Boyd said city employees are also advised to delay their arrival to work this morning after Oakland police officers and other authorities enforced an eviction notice on protesters in Frank Ogawa Plaza at Broadway and 14th Street.
A BART official said the 12th Street station was closed at 5 a.m. with trains running through the station. As of 6:30 a.m. that station has reopened. The 19th Street station is open.
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District bus service has been disrupted and there are detours in place throughout the downtown area. AC Transit has listed detoured bus lines on their website at www.actransit.org.
City officials had originally been supportive of the protesters, with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan saying that sometimes "democracy is messy."
City officials cited concerns about rats, fire hazards, public urination and acts of violence at the site, which had grown to more than 150 tents and included health, child-care and kitchen areas.
But protesters over the weekend said they had no plans to leave.