Monday, October 31, 2011

Businesses Hurt by "Occupation"

Small business owners, trying to provide a living for their families and their employees, are being hurt by the “Occupy Oakland” movement.  New businesses, and with them new jobs, have been discouraged from coming to Oakland.  Even if one sympathizes with the goals of the protests, whatever those goals may be, the undeniable effect of their actions should give them pause.  Instead they appear intent on continuing and expanding their activities along with the unintended consequences.

The City of Oakland needs to consider carefully its response to these protests.  In clearing the illegal overnight camping in Frank Ogawa Plaza the City correctly identified its responsibility to uphold public health and safety laws. The City has allowed the overnight camp to be re-established; can the City assure people that health and safety concerns can or will be addressed?

Permits and inspections are routinely required for activities in public and private locations. The ongoing occupation, which has not been issued permits to our knowledge, would not be tolerated in other areas of the city at other times.  Simply asserting a free speech interest does not make otherwise illegal activity acceptable.   

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2 Comments:

At November 1, 2011 at 9:38 AM , Blogger Rooted said...

Please name businesses that are being harmed.

 
At November 1, 2011 at 12:16 PM , Blogger Oakland Chamber of Commerce said...

Many if not most of the businesses within a block or two of Frank Ogawa Plaza have seen a substantial drop in sales. Shoplifting at many of the stores in the area is up significantly. More broadly fears of protests on Wednesday – in fact calls to shut down business – will have a negative impact and they are meant to. This all adds to a negative image of Oakland that is also discouraging potential employers from coming to Oakland.

 

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