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Oakland became a central touchstone for the Occupy movement at the end of October when protest demonstrations resulted in violence between protesters and police, as well as nighttime vandalism. In one incident last week, a real estate developer used a shotgun to prevent protesters who had commandeered his building’s parking garage from entering the lobby. At the end of October, Lee expressed concern over an Iraqi war veteran who sustained a head injury after being allegedly hit  by a police projectile. Oakland police are conducting an internal investigation into the incident.

Lee called the violent incidents resulting from various demonstrations across the country “unacceptable” but added that she does not believe the majority of “Occupiers want nor intend to do that.”

Members of the Occupy Oakland group denounced the violence last week, calling vandals an “autonomous group,” but incidents involving various factions of the “leaderless” resistance movement remain a concern.

Members of the business community in Oakland have protested that demonstrators hurt their interests by restricting movement within the city and even closing down the Port of Oakland, as happened during a demonstration last week.

“No one wants to destroy or hurt small businesses, the port or the truckers. If you ask me, they're part of the 99.8 percent,” Lee said, referring to the movement’s “We are the 99 percent” motto, a response to their criticism of the wealthiest 1 percent of people.

The Oakland City Council debated on Monday whether to continue to allow the Occupy Oakland camp to remain indefinitely. Lee argued that protesters should be allowed to stay. Lee has maintained staunch support of the Occupy Oakland movement through the various incidents, emphasizing the peaceful actions of protesters.

“The destructive actions of a small minority of protestors are unacceptable. I continue to call for non-violence and support the free speech rights of the protestors, as well as the small businesses, local workers, and the 99 percent,” Lee said in a press release last week.

“In terms of Oakland specifically, only a minority — in fact, we're learning now, most of them weren't from Oakland — were involved in some of the violence that took place,” Lee said Monday. “But in the big picture and in the larger scheme of things, we have to support a movement that support systemic change.”