* Call comes day after man shot dead near camp
* Police union says movement has achieved aims
SAN FRANCISCO Nov 11 One day after a man was
shot dead near a downtown Oakland plaza where members of the
Occupy Wall Street movement are camped, the city's police union
called on Friday for the protesters to leave.
Occupy Oakland demonstrators have denied that the shooting,
which occurred on Thursday afternoon at a public transit
station at the edge of Frank Ogawa Plaza, had anything to do
with their movement.
The Oakland Police Officers Association, in an open letter
to the protesters on Friday, said that officers sympathized
with their movement but that the city was in a "state of
emergency" and asked them to leave.
"You have sent the world a strong message; now it is time
to go home. Your leaving today, peacefully, of your own free
will, on the 30th day, will send a message to Oakland that you
care about our citizens and respect our city," the union said.
"With last night's homicide, in broad daylight, in the
middle of rush hour, Frank Ogawa Plaza is no longer safe," the
union said. "Please leave peacefully, with your heads held
high, so we can get police officers back to work fighting crime
in Oakland neighborhoods."
The Occupy movement that started in New York has sprouted
protests in many U.S. cities for weeks against economic
inequality and what activists call Wall Street greed and
Acting Police Chief Howard Jordan told reporters at a news
conference that investigators were "still trying to put the
pieces together," adding, "Obviously, for someone to lose a
life, that's a big deal."
ROUTINE GUN VIOLENCE
Protest organizers said the shooting was an example of gun
violence that flares routinely in Oakland and accused officials
of intentionally leaving street lights off around the plaza
after dark over the past two nights.
"This was another case of violence in the streets of
Oakland, and it's going to be blamed on the occupation," said
Tim Simons, one of several protesters who speaks for the group.
"But if the city really wants to make it a safe occupation,
they wouldn't shut off the lights."
Another spokesman, Shake Anderson, told the Local ABC News
affiliate, KGO-TV, that the person who died may have sought
safety in the camp shortly before being shot.
"This is also known to be a safe spot. So if somebody does
wrong things in their community, they might want to come here,
and this is not the place for that," Anderson said.
In a separate KGO-TV interview, City Councilman Ignacio De
La Fuente said his "biggest fear has obviously happened."
"I have been very, very vocal about the fact that we cannot
allow this to continue, because lives and property losses are
what's at stake," he said. "We have to end this occupation."
The shooting comes at a time of tense relations between
protesters and police who have already tried to forcibly remove
them earlier, efforts that sparked confrontations.
Police forcibly removed tents and drove protesters out of
the plaza on Oct. 25, only for demonstrators to return later
that day to reclaim the public square outside City Hall in a
clash with police that left one former Marine in the group
badly injured from a tear gas canister.
Police and protesters clashed again the following week
after a day of largely peaceful citywide rallies and marches
that forced a brief shutdown of the Port of Oakland.