In response to the ongoing Occupy San Jose protest at City Hall, the city is once again changing its stance on where protesters are allowed to camp and asking the public to stop donating food to occupiers. A memo sent Thursday by the city manager’s office to Mayor Chuck Reed and the San Jose City Council says the city has stepped up its effort to remove Occupy San Jose, which is now nearing its 50th day.
However, what new efforts are being taken is unclear. In his memo, Ed Shikada, an assistant at the city manager’s office, cites a significant increase in vandalism and drug use at City Hall and adjacent parking garages, as well vehicle break-ins and graffiti. However, the memo states that 26 citations have been issued and 15 arrests have been made, which are similar numbers to those provided last week by police.
The city seems to be backtracking on its stance that protesters can move their tents across Santa Clara Street after 11pm to avoid breaking a city ordinance that forbids camping on the City Hall plaza. “Demonstrators have been moving their camp form the Plaza and lodging on the street at night, and this is also not lawful,” Shikada writes. Throughout the occupation, the city has been strict to enforce some policies while letting other violations slide.
Also in his memo, Shikada describes two assaults that involved four individuals on Tuesday. In his assessment, the violence is an example of the conditions getting worse outside City Hall. However, there have been no detailed media reports of any such incident, and reports indicate a previous fight involving Occupy San Jose was started by suspects not associated with the occupation.
Shikada notes toward he end of his memo that the city will continue to monitor the actions of Shaun O’Kelly, known as Cracker, who has been atop a 36-foot wall at City Hall for more than three weeks.