After more than 30 days, the Occupation camp on the steps of the Berkeley Main Post Office came to an abrupt, but generally peaceful, end on Thursday, August 29, 2013.
Berkeley Police, reportedly acting on a letter written by Berkeley Postmaster Ray Davis, descended on the encampment and ordered the protesters to disperse. Police informed the occupiers that failure to comply with the order would result in arrest. Survivors of the morning police action told the Planet there had been two arrests. The police allowed the protestors to remove and reclaim the many banners, posters and placards ("Stamp Out Privatization," "The Post Office Ain't Broke," "This Is What Hypocrisy – Not Democracy – Looks Like.") that have adorned the historic building for most of the past month.
When it came to the half-dozen tents erected on the steps and flanks of the building, the BPD was less accommodating. The tents were seized, along with sleeping bags and personal belongings. The status of the seized property was uncertain.
Later that morning, a squad car and officer bearing the logo of the US Postal Police (who knew the USPS had its own paid militia?) stood by watchfully as a custodian power-hosed the steps and sidewalk, wiping away messages writing in chalk. Also washed away was an impressively rendered drawing of The Simpsons' Postmaster Bill, that faithfully stood its ground for most of the Save-the-PO vigil.
By 10a.m., a small group of organizers had regrouped on the Main's steps to discuss future actions – ranging from marches and on-site demonstrations (minus the tables, chairs and tents). Some of the protestors hoped they would have an opportunity to reclaim their personal belongings from police custody. Others were less optimistic: "They are already in the garbage," one of the disposed stated.
For more news, see: http://www.savethebpo.com/