The wave of protests that began with “Occupy Wall Street” in September is continuing to expand in the Bay Area, and activists plan to begin camping out in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza this afternoon.
Protesters announced online that “Occupy Oakland” will begin at 4 p.m. when they will gather in outside Oakland’s City Hall, creating an encampment in the spirit of similar protests throughout the nation.
The protests are intended to draw attention to the widening gap between rich and poor in the U.S. and widespread unemployment.
As of early this morning, more than 850 people had said on Facebook that they would attend the beginning of Occupy Oakland.
The Oakland demonstration comes on the heels of a similar demonstration in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. A march in support of “Occupy SF” drew hundreds to San Francisco’s Financial District on Wednesday afternoon.
That night, police ordered the protesters’ tents, tables and other gear taken down and removed protesters’ equipment from the sidewalk.
Protesters, however, have continued to occupy the area in front of the Federal Reserve building, waving signs, playing drums and approaching passersby despite police warnings that permits would be required to continue camping on the sidewalk.
One protester who was smoking marijuana was arrested this morning, witnesses said.
Scott Morris, Bay City News