As a follow-on to Professor Pierre-Louis's excellent post yesterday in connection with violence that broke out during the Occupy Oakland protests this week, below is the response that Mayor Jean Quan, mayor of Oakland, CA, issued last night:
"CITY OF OAKLAND, 1 FRANK H. OGAWA PLAZA ٠۰ 3RD FLOOR ٠۰ OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA 94612
October 27, 2011
Mayor Jean Quan’s Statement to Occupy Oakland
I had hoped to speak directly to you tonight. I was told that I could speak at the Speak Out at 6 pm, but that was cancelled. So I apologize for providing these remarks in written form.
I am deeply saddened about the outcome on Tuesday. It was not what anyone hoped for,
ultimately it was my responsibility, and I apologize for what happened. Today I visited Scott Olsen and his parents because I was concerned about his recovery. And I hope we will keep them all in our prayers.
We have started an investigation into the use of force, including tear gas, on Tuesday.
I cannot change the past, but I want to work with you to ensure that this remains peaceful moving forward.
When there’s violence, there are no winners – it polarizes us and opens old wounds rather than brings us together, which is the aim of Occupy Wall Street and uniting the 99%.
We are a nation in crisis. Oakland more than most cities faces budget cuts, unemployment and foreclosures. We are also a Progressive city. And as a long-time civil rights activist and union organizer I want my City to support the movement.
Thank you for last night’s peaceful protest. I will continue to order a minimal police presence. I need you to maintain a nonviolent attitude towards people, business owners, and homeowners around City Hall. I hope you will consider starting a dialogue with the small businesses around City Hall that you impact.
We pledge to work with Occupy Oakland and Occupy Wall Street, but we need to ask for four things:
1) We understand that some members of Occupy Oakland want to meet with me and Chief
Jordan. We agree. We need to have direct communications between city staff and your
2) We need you to maintain healthy and safe conditions where you gather.
3) We need our public safety employees to have access when there is an emergency.
4) We are asking you not to camp overnight. Frank Ogawa Plaza is open for free speech
activities between 6 am and 10 pm.
We can change America and but we must unite and not divide our city. I hope we can work together.
/s/ Jean Quan
Mayor of Oakland"