Oakland has thriving, top-rated restaurants. Who wants to dine out in a town littered with too much graffiti and too little police protection?
These demonstrations threaten to starve the goose that pays for precious city services.
Once people start believing that they're part of an oppressed 99 percent, you never know where they'll see the 1 percent. One parent told the Oakland Tribune that members of Oakland's politically correct school board should consider themselves "on notice that they will be evicted from office in the next election for doing the dirty work of the 1 percent."
Quan started last week with the apparent belief that if she could assure activists that she is as liberal as they are, then Occupy Oakland protesters might behave. Thus, as the general strike dawned, Quan issued assurances that the city would "maintain a minimal police presence."
Now, if Oakland were a Wall Street boardroom, then activists would be swept out of sight. But because Oakland is a liberal enclave -- and Quan invited activists back to their encampment after the Oct. 25 police sweep -- the number of tents in front of City Hall, currently 165, has been growing.
Thursday's City Council meeting may signal a turning point. More than 100 people, overwhelmingly in support of the protesters, scolded, lectured or addressed councilors. Most councilors had been friendly toward the protests. But by the end of the night, Nadel conceded that she did not have the votes to pass her resolution.
It would appear warnings issued for weeks by Councilmen De La Fuente and Larry Reid finally have sunk in. As De La Fuente asked earlier, why did Oakland become the center of the Occupy movement? Because City Hall was "obstructing the police from doing their damn job. That's why this is happening."
Quan, Nadel and company made trashing Oakland after dark as easy as mugging an old lady.
"I think people are waking up," Haraburda told me earlier. "I'm getting more and more pointed in my comments because I'm more and more upset."
Waking up is good. Because when Occupy Oakland boasts that it plans to "Occupy Everything," the public is beginning to understand: Anarchists and their enablers don't start with the 1 percent. They cut their teeth on the soft meat.