Oakland business leaders called on the city Tuesday to move forcefully against Occupy Oakland -- and disband the encampment -- citing huge drops in sales for some retailers and fears about the city's reputation.And then there's this:
Mayor Jean Quan conceded that the movement has imperiled jobs. She called on Occupy Oakland to begin a dialogue to resolve the demonstrations peacefully.
Occupy representatives insisted they had no intention of harming merchants in downtown Oakland, saying the small retailers are members of the 99 percent.
But business officials pushed for immediate action. "The encampment needs to go away," said Deborah Boyer, president of the Lake Merritt/Uptown Community Benefit District. "It's become dangerous."
Numerous downtown retailers said the Occupy protests have slashed sales in half, and business leaders warned that Occupy and the city's response has spooked some tenant prospects.
"People don't want to come downtown," said Nohemi Duran, an employee with Juice Joint Eatery, located a few hundred feet from Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, the site of the Occupy encampment.
At least five companies that were considering setting up new office operations in downtown Oakland have shelved or delayed those plans and are looking in other cities, Del Beccaro said.The city could end this tomorrow if they simply cleaned out the camp and enforced the law. If a few hippies have to take a beating, so be it.
Oh, one more thing:
Last week, one or more Occupy Oakland protesters smashed the windows of a Wells Fargo branch.I hope the bank takes the cost of those windows out of #OccupyOakland's funds.
This week, the group’s general assembly agreed — in a near-unanimous vote Monday — to temporarily place $20,000 of the group’s money in an account at the country’s fourth-largest bank holding company, Wells Fargo Bank.
Whether the decision was an abandonment of the movement’s opposition to big banks or an ominous affirmation of the hold that big banks have on Americans, Twitter was ablaze with outrage last night, as news spread about the 162-8 vote, from which 16 people abstained.