Developer scares off Occupy Oakland ilk with shotgun

And this is precisely why the second amendment exists – protection. Protection against unruly mobs, home intruders, tyranny or all of the above.  A real estate developer in Oakland used his shotgun to deter the bratty looters of Occupy Oakland. The San Fransico Chronicle reports:

Oakland developer Phil Tagami is used to working behind the scenes to broker some of the biggest deals in town. Late Wednesday, he was using different persuasive skills – holding a loaded shotgun to scare away rioters trying to get into a downtown building.

“We had people who attempted to break into our building,” the landmark Rotunda Building on Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall, Tagami said Thursday. He grabbed a shotgun that he usually keeps at home, went down to the ground floor and “discouraged them,” he said.

“I was standing there and they saw me there, and I lifted it – I didn’t point it – I just held it in my hands,” Tagami said. “And I just racked it, and they ran.”

Although they didn’t get inside the building – Tagami, 46, oversaw its $50 million renovation and has an office there – vandals did scrawl graffiti on the outside walls during the post-midnight riot that broke out after Occupy Oakland’s daylong general strike.

The Rotunda Building was far from the only target. Graffiti was spray-painted on many buildings along Broadway from 14th to 16th streets. Masked vandals shattered windows, started fires and threw objects at police, including lit flares and powerful M-1000 firecrackers.

Officers responded by firing tear gas and flash-bang grenades and arresting 103 people, including those from as far away as Michigan and New York. Five civilians and three police officers were hurt.

As the sun rose, downtown Oakland business owners were again assessing the damage, much as they did after a series of protests related to the killing of unarmed BART rider Oscar Grant in 2009.

Crews were boarding up broken windows at the Tully’s Coffee shop just steps from Occupy Oakland’s camp at Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall. Graffiti was sprayed on the Rite Aid and Walgreens drugstores across from each other at 14th and Broadway. The city estimated it would cost up to $25,000 to replace broken windows at city buildings.

City Administrator Deanna Santana apologized to business owners for the “chaotic events” that enveloped the city. Mayor Jean Quan called the rioters “a small and isolated group.”

“It shouldn’t mar the overall impact of the demonstration and the fact that people in the 99 percent movement demonstrated peacefully and, for the most part, were productive and very peaceful,” Quan said.

Tagami disagreed, calling the Occupy Oakland encampment “basically concealment and cover for anarchists who are doing this to our city.”

“We’re very concerned that a group of people can be allowed to do this type of destruction to our town and to our image without any repercussions,” Tagami said. “They need to be held accountable.” He rejected assertions that the anarchists were a small minority, saying, “No, you can’t have it both ways.”

Tagami added, “I support a peaceful protest. But it was a siege situation last night, and quite frankly, I’m glad we were here. But I never want to have to do that again.”

Other businesses that professed support for Occupy Oakland’s general strike didn’t escape the damage. Windows at the Men’s Wearhouse, which closed Wednesday and put up signs of support, were shattered.

Many Occupy Oakland sympathizers were dismayed by the damage, and some tried to do something about it.

Leandro Marques, 33, and two women were scrubbing graffiti at noontime from the facade of Genji, a Japanese restaurant in the City Hall plaza.

“Doing things to small businesses is about the worst thing you can do,” said Marques, an audio engineer who lives in Berkeley. “You’re hurting people who are poor like you.”

Rachel Konte, owner of Oakllectiv, said her designer clothing shop had its plate glass window smashed and hundreds of dollars of T-shirts stolen.

“Some protesters guarded our store for us,” Konte said. “We’re so thankful and grateful for that.”

She said, “We’re still committed to Oakland. I don’t know who vandalized us, but I bet they don’t live here.”



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