Last night, during a special meeting of the Alameda (suburb of San Francisco, CA) City Council over rent control, two people advocating for a moratorium on rent increases were arrested after they tried to enter the council chambers and allegedly assaulted two staff members.

Those there to support the moratorium claimed that landlords and others opposing it had been allowed to show up early and fill all of the seats within the chamber. As a result, tenants and those supporting people who would be negatively affected by rate increases were forced to watch the meeting from overflow rooms on a video feed.

Apparently, those video feeds also failed at some point during the meeting. The moratorium supporters, who already felt that their input was limited by not being able to address the council directly, then moved into the hallway outside the city council chambers and began chanting to let renters speak. It was at that point that the arrests happened.

According to NBCBayArea.com:

Police said two men then tried to force their way into the meeting.

In addition, two city staffers were assaulted, according to police.

Video posted online shows officers pushing through the crowd in the hall and taking a man down to the ground. The man’s nose started bleeding when he was taken down, leaving blood on the floor.

In addition to the two arrests, police said an officer suffered bruises and the interim assistant city manager was hospitalized for his injuries. His condition was not immediately known, police said.

The video, which is included within this post, begins after the protesters are in the hallway. The very beginning of the arrest or the reason for that arrest isn’t actually depicted, since the person filming had started walking the other direction and had to come back. It does, however, pretty clearly show the actual arrest and the injury to the man being arrested. It also shows one of the officers trying to prevent filming of the arrest by placing his hand over the camera.

This video from ABC7News.com (also embedded below – the incident begins at about 55 seconds into the video) shows the initial confrontation. It appears to show Asst. City Mgr, Bob Haun push the man (presumably to keep him from entering the council chambers) who was later arrested down first and then fall or get pulled down himself. The actual reason for Haun’s fall is not clearly depicted in the video, although it looks like he was dragged down or tripped by the man he had just pushed. The man depicted being arrested in the original video then walks back toward the center of the crowd.

Incidentally, after the arrests the City Council voted for a 65 day moratorium on rent increases for properties subject to rent controls.

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