Who is the brick thrower? - Page 2

Jesse Nesbitt, charged with Occupy violence on May Day, tell his story.

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The brick thrower, left, with Steven "Pirate Mike" Clift, who climbed onto the roof to disarm him
PHOTO BY STEVE RHODES

"It was in Berkeley out at the Occupy camp. I got into a fight with somebody, I was in a black out. It took six cops to hogtie 135-pound me, so I was talking shit. While I was hogtied, they dropped me on my head. I went from talking shit to unconscious. I slept for the next two weeks," Nesbitt told me.

His involvement with Occupy San Francisco increased after the Occupy Berkeley encampment was taken down.

Occupy San Francisco, however, didn't quite progress the way he had hoped. "When they started raiding us in December, I was hoping the numbers would go up. Instead they dwindled," said Nesbitt.

He was part of a small group of people continuing the "occupation" tactic outside the Federal Reserve Building at 101 Market St. Back in the fall, that sidewalk was a spot where dozens of people held protest signs and meetings all day and many slept throughout the night. After a series of police raids, and as most of those organizing with Occupy moved on to different tactics and projects, some decided to remain there.

Even when the Justin Herman Plaza camp was in full functional form, it was derided as "nothing but a homeless camp." There were homeless people there, but many found food and other resources, as well as security from both police and other people they feared on the street, leading many to devote themselves to the goals of the protest movement.

The 101 Market camp that emerged in February was mostly a homeless camp — and, although the people there remained fiercely political in their convictions, they certainly didn't enjoy the safety that the Justin Herman camp once provided.

Nesbitt was one of those people. "The SFPD not letting us sleep, telling us sitting on cardboard was lodging, sitting under a blanket to stay warm was lodging, you can only take so much of it," he said. "They slammed my head against the back of a paddy wagon last time they arrested me for sitting underneath a blanket."

His story is not unusual.

"Veterans continue to lead the nation in homelessness," explained Colleen Corliss, spokesperson for the veterans-aid nonprofit Swords to Plowshares. "There are a lot of factors at play. Those who go to war have a higher instance of mental illness and substance abuse, which ultimately can lead to a vicious cycle of homelessness," she said. "Even if you serve during peace time, you can still have really traumatic experiences."

Nesbitt's experience with the city's mental health facilities wasn't enough to break this cycle. "I did get 5150-ed," he said, describing the term for involuntary psychiatric commitment. "I was in the hospital less than 24 hours, they kicked me out."

Why? "I threatened to kill a doctor," said Nesbitt.

Nesbitt's 24-hour stay was in the overburdened, short-staffed psych ward at San Francisco General Hospital. When the psych wards began closing beds in 2007, it was comprised of four units, each with 30 beds; it is now down to one unit, according to Ed Kinchley, a social worker in the medical emergency department at General.

There's also a floor in the behavioral health center for psychiatric patients with 59 beds, but "they told the staff last week that they're planning to close 29 of those beds."

"Since [the beds] are full almost every day, the bar or the standard for who stays there or who goes in-patient is a lot higher than it used to be," said Kinchley.

Whatever the reason, Nesbitt was not getting treatment the day of the alleged brick-throwing — and he was having problems. "I was getting an episode the day before it all happened," he said. "I was afraid to go by myself to sleep because I was hearing voices. Normally those voices tell me to hurt people. I try to keep around people I love and trust that wouldn't let me do anything."

Mixed with his schizophrenia is a brand of Constitutionalism that's not common on the left.

Comments

Clearly he is a victim of the system.

Posted by Troll II on May. 10, 2012 @ 9:50 am

So let's throw bricks at Wells Fargo so he may have justice!

Occupy logic is in a world of its own.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 10:03 am

somehow see nothing of interest in the poor victim of his violence, who suffered serious head injuries?

Inbetween your endless apologist rants for Occupy crimes and misbehavior, why is there nothing on those who have been injured and killed by Occupiers, nor on the small businesses that have been trashed, nor the ordinary citizens who have had their cars vandalized or have been terrified by these rampages?

You need to examine your priorities.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 9:59 am

The victim of his violence has forgiven but will not forget nor should we.
The tactic of brick throwing is not strategic nor morally welcome.

The piece done here is a viewpoint. If you want statistics on violence, physical or mental, do research and present it. There are different ways of observing a story. Ability to use the different points of view is one measure of a person's writing skill. It should also be a way of checking credible news sources.

I encourage the use of viewpoints as wider judgment. I remember in class when I was told that Mr. Lincoln was considered a failure by his peers. One day I hope you learn that there is more than one story. I hope this story gets brighter by hearing that he will be cared for and grow in peace...

Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.
--January 27, 1838 Lyceum Address Abraham Lincoln

Posted by Netizen 101 on May. 10, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

other side of the story, i.e. featured the victims of Occupy's violence and crimes. IOW, balanced coverage.

But they never do - that's the point.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

If the state locks crazy dude up for his own good the crazy lawyers will be brining suit. If the state lets it go, it is the states fault.

So no matter what the government does it is the fault of the government.

Posted by Matlock on May. 11, 2012 @ 12:10 am

killed by occupiers? what?

Posted by wiseoldsnail on May. 12, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

Nobody has been killed by Occupiers. That's why you havn't read about it.

Posted by Guest ethan davidson on Feb. 04, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

Clearly the man suffers from system victimhood and needs more personnel empowerment. He needs some personnel social justice.

We all need personnel social justice. If not, TO THE FRONT WE GO!

Jesse Nesbitt, al frente!

Posted by Troll the XIV on May. 10, 2012 @ 10:27 am

"Abraham Lincoln said, 'if the government betrays us, we're supposed to take them out.'"

True, that. That's one of Honest Abe's most famous quotes.

Posted by Troll the XIV on May. 10, 2012 @ 11:01 am

Yael - you are pathetic. You have no idea what journalism is about. You do not know Jesse nor his history and didn't bother to do any research. If you wouild like to do an accurate story about Jesse, talk to his family members about his history & you will get a more accurate and completly different story. This article is totally false.

Posted by Guest on May. 17, 2012 @ 9:15 am

Sorry Yael - I was a little harsh on you. You make Jesse sound like the hero or victim his is not....

Posted by Guest on May. 17, 2012 @ 9:57 am

i know jesse very well i can tell storys about him he picks upp and leave his kid in pa with his kid mom but the mom of kid try to help him in more ways than one but he didnt want tthe help so y help someone who dont what the help his loss not mine btw his kid is the best ever

Posted by Guest on Jan. 04, 2013 @ 2:28 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 04, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

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