Since June 15, parents, teachers, students, and allies from Oakland have occupied Lakeview school in response to the closure of five public elementary schools. Officials want to convert the buildings into private charter schools and offices, forcing students into different schools ten miles away without offering transportation. On the last day of class, community members began an on-going sit-in. They set up a community space complete with a library, free classes for children, social justice training, and more. Members of Occupy Oakland and other local Occupations have offered support and security patrols for the brave community members inside.
Around 25 people were inside this morning when Oakland police issued an evacuation order at 4 a.m. while most of the city and potential supporters slept. Just before 6 a.m., police raided the site and issued a dispersal order. Most of those inside complied with the order voluntarily, while a few remained inside in nonviolent protest. A parent and a former Lakeview student were arrested. According to witnesses, police threatened to use chemical weapons despite the presence of children and would not allow legal observers or media inside. Also according to witnesses, sanitation crews rushed in and the city immediately began building a fence after the arrests were made.
The community has vowed to stay and not give up the struggle to defend public education. A convergence of occupiers and all supporters has been called for 5pm Pacific today in front of Lakeview.