Occupy Oakland supporter Casey Dolan had been using the front door of her house, which her boyfriend owns, to advertise info about the Occupy protests, and apparently the City of Oakland wasn't liking it. They painted over the signage with the poop brown paint that they use to paint the city garbage cans.
If they thought the hand-written text was displeasing, the brown paint certainly wasn't an improvement. Also, it doesn't sound very legal. Dolan's been in touch with some attorneys who are very interested in the case.
Update: We've edited the post to reflect that the city only painted over the door, since Dolan had previously painted over the two windows on either side, which also previously had Occupy-related text on them. We also edited the photo to clarify that.
Dolan told SFist that they received no advance warning from the city. It also sounds like Keep Oakland Clean & Beautiful was probably involved. The details are below in their entirety:
We own (technically my boyfriend owns it) the house, which is a two story place right on MacArthur Blvd. in East Oakland. The house has a storefront that we use for storage/etc... and the windows have been boarded for over a decade. The week before the Nov. 2nd General Strike we thought why not spruce up our storefront and use it to get out some information?
I went and bought some paint and spent the day painting (with the help of my boyfriends teenage kid and his friend). Lots of people honked and waved, stopped and talked... all and all really a great day. What you see in the picture is the full paint job. About 2 weeks ago, or so, we painted over the two side windows in anticipation of our more "artistic" (I'm not so talented with the paint brush!) who are planning on putting up some stencils they made. So all that was left after that was the door, which said "Occupy Oakland, Occupy Wall St., Change the World". Nothing too inflammatory, in my opinion.
Since we painted the storefront, there have been numerous reports from neighbors that police have been stopped in front of our house, taking pictures on their phones. The only solid date I have is this: Nov. 14th (I received a text message, hence the exact date). I don't know if the police interest has anything to do with the what happened yesterday, but I thought it was worth noting.
We have pinpointed the time of the door being painted over as between 8:30am & 9:00am, as my boyfriends son & his girlfriend exited through that door to go to the bank down the street, and upon their return they found fresh brown paint on the door. They thought, weird, why did Casey & David paint the door brown??, but didn't mention it to us. They are not really "morning people", I don't think they put it together that something was wrong with the situation.
I will note that I was home sick all day, but didn't hear this happening. So, NO knock on our door and no alert from the city. My boyfriend came home around 3:00 and asked what happened to the front of the house, at which point we all went outside. We quickly noticed that the City of Oakland trash cans (the kind by bus stops and on corners) had also been freshly painted with the same brown paint.
I then called the City of Oakland and spoke with someone who was shocked (honestly), and he gave me the number to contact the City Attorney Kevin Siegel. Mr. Siegel was friendly and said that it did not sound legal and that he would contact the city workers responsible for the painting of the cans/lamposts in my neighborhood.
In the meantime, facebook had blown up, as well as my phone! I was put in contact with Dan Siegel's law office and spoke with an attorney there. She said based on what information I gave her, that we were certainly within our rights. I want to make sure it's clear that we only had one 18 minute conversation, but I am going to be in contact with them on Monday when we will hopefully have more information from the City.
Finally, in the midst of the bevy of phone calls/texts/emails/etc... I missed a call from the Keep Oakland Beautiful Board, and the voicemail was brief and said that they were calling in response to questions regarding graffiti clean up at my address. When I called back, the office had already closed.
So, I'm guessing that they are going to say that it was graffiti and according to this 8.10.080 - Abatement procedures, they are legally allowed to paint residences. That having been said, I believe that they are required to first notify the owners of any alterations they may make to the building.
Dolan hopes to know more on Monday.