Second member of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s team resigns due to Occupy Oakland response
By End the Lie
Tonight marked the second resignation of a member of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s team which so far includes Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu and Quan’s legal adviser and “longtime friend” according to Mercury News, Dan Siegel.
At 7:30 pm the Mercury News live blog covering Occupy Oakland announced that Deputy Mayor Cornu resigned, effective immediately.
Mayor Quan wrote in response, “Sharon has been a tremendous asset to my administration. We wish her well and I’m grateful for her contributions. I will be restructuring my administration and making additional personnel announcements in the coming days.”
When asked for more details about the series of resignations over the Oakland Mayor’s handling, or mishandling, of the Occupy Oakland encampment Quan’s spokesperson Sue Piper claimed, “It’s a personnel issue,” in an email to Mercury News.
This is likely an attempt to avoid directly addressing the police brutality that has plagued the police response to Occupy Oakland and other occupations across the nation.
The resignation of the Deputy Mayor came after Dan Siegel, Quan’s legal advisor, announced that he was resigning over the raid on the encampment via Facebook this morning.
Siegel took a quite honorable stand against the assault on the First Amendment and the right of the people to peaceably assemble that has occurred in Oakland and across the country.
On his Facebook, Siegel wrote, “No longer mayor Quan’s legal adviser. Resigned at 2 a.m. Support Occupy Oakland not the 1 percent and its government facilitators.”
This is important not only because it is a clear sign that government is not wholly sided against the people of the United States but also because Siegel and Quan had a long history together.
Their background makes this resignation that much more noteworthy given they have been friends for decades, dating back to when they both attended the University of California at Berkeley.
Siegel was a part of Quan’s transition team when she took office in January, after which he stayed on as an adviser.
Mayor Quan seems to be getting flak from all sides over the handling of the encampment, including from the Oakland Police Officers Association.
Earlier today they released a statement which thanked protesters for peacefully leaving the tent city while lauding Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan and City Administrator Deanna Santana.
The union has also criticized Quan recently over shifting position on the Occupy Oakland encampment.
Later in the day public workers began breaking down the tent city, including more than 100 tents, and according to Mercury News, the crews threw everything in the garbage with the help of two dump trucks.
In the raid over 30 activists were arrested including one individual from France and others from the East Coast.
Some of those arrested included many members of the clergy. Most of the demonstrators were cited by police for failing to disperse.
At 5:25 pm protesters reassembled at Frank Ogawa Plaza after the morning’s raid and said they were going to reoccupy it.
Later protesters urged the large crowd of several hundred people to march on UC Berkeley on Tuesday to help support them after the brutal assault they endured at the hands of police.
They said that large numbers will help students and professors reestablish their encampment which was destroyed by police after activists attempted – and failed – to block them by forming a human chain.
These activists were beaten and jabbed with batons and some were injured, including a professor who sustained broken ribs.
A Captain for the UC Police then defended their naked brutish thuggery by saying that linking arms was in fact an act of violence and thus justified the police offensive.
It remains to be seen how these numbers will reinforce the Occupation of UC Berkeley and how the police will react to swelling numbers.
Later it was announced that the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the National Lawyers Guild filed a federal lawsuit against the Oakland Police Department.
The suit calls for an emergency temporary restraining order to stop more police violence against the Occupy Oakland activists.
According to an order issued by United States District Court Judge Richard Seeborg, the city must respond by 5 pm on Tuesday.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Timothy Scott Campbell, a videographer who was shot with a bean bag round when filming police earlier this month.
Other plaintiffs include Keerie Campbell, Marc McKinnie, Michael Siegel and Legal Observer for the National Lawyers Guild, Marcus Kryshka.
I must wonder why Scott Olsen, the veteran who was struck in the skull with a tear gas canister (and is now thankfully out of the hospital according to friends) isn’t a plaintiff along with the second veteran who was hospitalized due to aggressive police tactics.
“I was filming police activity at Occupy Oakland because police should be accountable,” Campbell said in a prepared statement. “Now I’m worried about my safety from police violence and about retaliation because I’ve been outspoken.”
In another prepared statement, an attorney for the National Lawyers Guild, Rachel Lederman, said that the police’s actions were “wholesale and fragrant violations of Oakland’s own Crowd Control Policy.”
The suit alleges that the Oakland Police Department violated the First and Fourth Amendment rights of protesters in attacking activists with flash bang grenades, projectiles and excessive amounts of tear gas.
Among other allegations the suit says that the Oakland Police Department violated their Crowd Control Policy which was put in place as part of a settlement agreement that was reached after another assault on a large 2003 protest.
Tents still occupy Snow Park near Lake Merritt but Interim Chief Howard Jordan announced that the Snow Park encampment would be raided as well without providing a time frame.
For more on Occupy Oakland and the fallout that is occurring thanks to Quan’s handling of the encampment, check out the live blog on Mercury News.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.