Occupied Oakland’s Quandary
The East Bay city continues to suffer from its mayor’s fecklessness.


In an interview with KGO radio on November 8, she reiterated the same request, calling for the occupiers to “set up a formal committee to dialogue with the city.” Thankfully, they have not been actively violent since last week, and have merely, in the opinions of local businesses and residents, been “deteriorating the quality of life in downtown and beyond.”

But the occupiers have not been completely idle — instead of responding to Mayor Quan’s requests, they are planning a new tactic of social disruption, occupying foreclosed buildings. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, “conversations have narrowed down not to whether Occupy activists should take over empty buildings, but when and how.” It’s worth nothing that it was specifically the occupation of a foreclosed building (once a homeless shelter) last Wednesday that led to the most extreme acts of violence — protesters vandalized the building thoroughly and assaulted police in an attempt to defend their illegal occupation (which, they admitted, “counts as trespassing, if not burglary”).

Unfortunately, the mayor does not seem prepared or willing to confront this next inevitable stage of civil unrest. Once again, Quan is abandoning her first duty to protect the law-abiding citizens of Oakland and their property, now under siege, because she is sympathetic to the message that Occupy Oakland intends to promote through its lawlessness.

— Patrick Brennan is a 2011 William F. Buckley Fellow.


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