OAKLAND -- A day after Occupy Oakland defied an order by Oakland city officials to break camp and leave the plaza or risk immediate arrest, the tent city was as lively as ever Saturday, Day 13 of the demonstration.
There are hay bales peppered throughout camp, artwork displayed, gardens growing, pumpkins waiting to be carved, clothes hanging out to dry, music blasting from just about every instrument imaginable and signs, signs, and more signs.
Occupy Oakland started out as a protest against corporate greed and widespread unemployment, and there are still plenty of people chanting -- "The banks got bailed out, we got sold out" -- but the messages have spread.
A few of the signs out on Saturday:
"Stop police brutality."
"The corporate media puts the masses to sleep."
"Fight the power."
Occupants on Saturday blasted everything they say is wrong with the city, the government and America.
"Today is a day to show the strength and support for the occupation and the diversity of issues we are trying to address,'' said organizer Tim Simons, 28. "And to show solidarity with the occupy movement and against an economic system that hasn't worked for us, against gang injunctions, against youth curfews and to defend Oakland schools and libraries."
Occupy Oakland marked the day with a march from the camp at 14th Street and Broadway, around Lake Merritt, and back to camp.
Along the way, some marchers stopped to peruse a garage sale on Grand Avenue, others invited waving onlookers five stories up in their apartments to leave their windows and join the protest. The Brass Liberation Orchestra (a fixture at nearly every Oakland protest, no matter what the cause) played a catchy tune -- "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out" -- and at least one man draped in an American flag danced.
Oakland city administrators on Friday afternoon issued a letter stating that the encampment was "a violation of the law" and threatened violators with immediate arrest.
"We understand this is a public space," said organizer Simons. "But this is a liberated space now. We are creating our own rules."
In nearly two weeks not one police officer has been allowed into the camp, Simons said. When police arrive, the campers huddle together and shout: "Go home!"
"It's clear they don't have orders to invade the space," he said.