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Oakland City Council enacts controversial public seating rule

Flickr user greendoula

On September 18th, an incident cut short an Oakland City Council meeting (see what happened in the video below).


People were chanting and booing the Councilmembers in protest of how the Oakland Police dealt with the shooting of Alan Blueford. Blueford is an East Oakland resident and student of Skyline High School, and was fatally shot last May by a policeman. The disruption led to a decision by Oakland City Administrator Deanna Santana to prohibit the public from sitting in the council chamber gallery, or standing inside or outside city council meetings. The new rule was implemented in yesterday’s meeting.

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Matthai Kuruvila covers Oakland City Council and spoke with KALW’s Hana Baba.

Click the audio player above to listen to the interview.

Should Oakland’s City Council ban the public from attending its meetings to avoid disruptions? Or are disruptions part of the democratic process? Let us know by calling 415-264-7106.

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.