One day before a protest that could be Oakland’s largest in years, the city’s police union questioned the leadership of Mayor Jean Quan and said officers were confused about how they should handle demonstrators…
The Oakland Police Officers Association released a statement Tuesday noting that after officers cleared the Occupy Oakland camp early on Oct. 25, Quan allowed the protesters to start returning the next day. The raid was accomplished with the help of 16 outside agencies, and follow-up protests turned violent that night, resulting in serious injury to a military veteran who was demonstrating.
The camp is now larger than it was before the raid, with more than 300 people squatting before City Hall in more than 100 tents.
“As your police officers, we are confused,” the union said.
The city is allowing employees to participate in the strike that Occupy Oakland has called, the union said, while all officers have been ordered to work.
“That’s hundreds of city workers encouraged to take off work to participate in the protest against ‘the establishment,’ ” said the union, which represents 645 officers. “But aren’t the mayor and her administration part of the establishment they are paying city employees to protest? Is it the city’s intention to have city employees on both sides of a skirmish line?”
The union’s president, Sgt. Dom Arotzarena, said, “There is no clear mission here. The mayor is painting this picture that we’re the bad guy. We’re just doing our jobs, carrying out her orders, and we need some big leadership now.”