Protesters at the OccupySF encampment remained on edge for hours early on Oct. 27 as reports of a pending police raid put the crowd of perhaps 1,000 on alert. Between the collective fear of risking serious injury or arrest, the anxiety of losing camp, and the sleep deprivation, the police department's unwillingness to make its intentions clear to people gathered in Justin Herman Plaza seemed akin to psychological warfare waged against the occupiers.
The OccupySF campers practiced forming human blockades, wrote legal phone numbers on their arms in case of arrest, and rallied together in efforts to defend their ground in the public park. To keep their energy up, they sang, chanted, circled around the square as a band played, and shared food.
They received unlikely support from five members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who spoke to the crowd around 2 a.m.
Read a detailed account of the night's events here.
Here's a video of what the scene was like in Justin Herman Plaza last night.
Video by Rebecca Bowe
In the clip, Shaw San Liu of the Chinese Progressive Association communicates with the crowd on the megaphone, saying if the police came they would defend camp. Sup. David Campos tells the crowd that the plaza is safer than many other places in the city, and that Mayor Ed Lee ought to see what was happening for himself before ordering a police raid of the camp.
While many occupiers seemed pleased by the support from local elected officials, some -- like activist Andy Blue -- also took the politicians to task for supporting the one percent by approving legislation such as the Twitter tax break.