Thousands of Occupy Oakland protesters descended Wednesday night on the Port of Oakland, but police said so far they have made no arrests and that the demonstration had largely been peaceful.
“The world is watching Oakland tonight. We need to make sure this remains a safe place for everyone,” said City Administrator Deanna Santana. who was joined at an early evening news conference by Mayor Jean Quan, Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan and port officials.
Despite several incidents of vandalism around the downtown area, Jordan said no arrests had been made. He said there has been a minimal police presence among the protesters but that his department was sufficiently prepared to deal with any problems.
“We’re trying to do the best we can with the resources we have,” he said. The chief estimated the number of protesters at around 4,500, but local media reports put the number at about 10,000.
Isaac Kos-Read, the port’s director of external affairs, said that maritime operations “are effectively shut down” because demonstrators are preventing goods from leaving.
“The decision was made by the protesters,” he said, noting that there is not as much activity at the port in the evening.
The port does about $8.5 million in export and import business a day, he said.
[For the record, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 2: A previous version of this post attributed the first quote to Mayor Jean Quan. It was City Administrator Deanna Santana who made the statement about “the world is watching.”]