State of the occupations

Occupy acts against foreclosure and college cuts; OccupySF holds its ground; and writers discuss the movement's future

Despite tense talks with Mayor Ed Lee, OccupySF isn't moving



Another Occupy offshoot sprung up at San Francisco State University Dec. 1 when about 150 students attended a march and rally that culminated at Malcolm X Plaza, now the site of the San Francisco's newest Occupy camp.

Students symbolically blocked off ATMs, wrapped Chase Bank machines in cellophane and plastered nearby Wells Fargo and Bank of America ATMs with "meet the one percent" flyers profiling wealthy University of California Trustee Monica Lozano and California State University Regent Bill Hauck.

The highlight of the action came when SF State President Robert Corrigan arrived on the scene. The group was using the people's mic to read a letter addressed to Corrigan, penned by the Occupy SF State General Assembly, demanding that he write two letters. One should be directed to the school's chancellor and CSU Board of Trustees, "urging them to repeal the 9 percent tuition fee increase" that the board passed Nov. 16, and another should go to "the presidents of every other CSU campus asking them to also contact the chancellor and Board of Trustees regarding a repeal of the 9 percent tuition fee increase."

Corrigan listened, then participated in a frank question-and-answer session with protesters, urging them to contact Sacramento legislators. Yet he refused to write those letters or declare support for Occupy SF State.

Afterwards, the students returned to Malcolm X Plaza and erected about 15 tents, which organizers said would contain "books, food, and homework help" along with providing shelter for sleeping protesters.



In the Mission, where city officials have been encouraging OccupySF to relocate from its current home in the Financial District, a separate new Occupy effort could be underway.

Organizer Enrique Del Valle says he and other organizers have been distributing flyers and talking to people and organizations throughout the neighborhood. "We're getting it together to have a General Assembly," he told us.

The effort is unrelated to the OccupySF General Assembly's Nov. 29 decision to decline the city's offer to utilize an abandoned lot at 1950 Mission Street, he added. Before the city made that offer, Del Valle, a community volunteer with connections with many Mission groups, says he was already working on forming a neighborhood occupation.

If Occupy SF had set up shop in the space offered by the city, "We would have worked with them," he explained, "but set up somewhere else."

Meanwhile, Mayor Ed Lee and OccupySF are still waiting for one another's next moves. On the evening of Dec. 1, when San Francisco Police officers surrounded the camp in steel barricades, protesters felt another raid was underway. But they resisted and took down some barricades, causing police to suddenly back down and remove the rest.

"They've just been mindfucking us," OccupySF protester Markus Destin told us. "As soon as they spend all that money breaking us down, we'll just come back in a week and re-encamp."

Mayoral Press Secretary Christine Falvey said Lee wasn't aware OccupySF rejected his offer: "We haven't heard back one way or another from the group. The offer is still out there and the group has all of the information they need from us. We are awaiting a decision. Mayor Lee has made it very clear to the group that he supports their first amendment rights and their right to assemble, but that overnight camping at Justin Herman Plaza is not an option for the long term because of the health and safety problems it creates."



Community members rallied outside a foreclosed Visitacion Valley home Dec. 1 before moving their protest to the offices of the company that purchased the property.

Related articles

Also from this author

  • Privatization of public housing

    Many residents feel they're moving from the frying pan of Housing Authority control into the fire of developer and nonprofit management

  • Homeless for the holidays

    Changing demographics in the Bayview complicate city efforts to open a shelter there

  • Betting on Graton

    Newest casino targeting Bay Area residents promises to share the wealth with workers and people of color