Occupy SF: The eviction drumbeat begins

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We all knew that Mayor Lee wouldn't risk sending the cops in to evict OccupySF until after the election. But now the newspaper drumbeat has begun -- the place is filthy, there's shoplifting nearby and (gasp) the Ferry Building has to spend more money on toilet paper.

There's an easy solution to the toilet paper problem: Install and maintain some more portable toilets near the camp. Not difficult, not expensive. And when you have that many people around (the camp keeps growing) and some of them have been living on the streets for a long time, having to hustle to stay alive, it's not surprising that some cookies have been stolen. For the most part, the camp is pretty self-sufficient and there's plenty of food, but if theft is a problem, a couple more beat cops at the Ferry Building would probably put a lid on it.

It's too bad the Bay is so cold at this time of year; a quick dip with some Dr. Bronner's would solve the need for the alleged sponge baths (and I just can't imagine anything worse than the thought of a few people washing themselves off in a .... bathroom). It really wouldn't be hard to install a solar shower on the scene, if the Department of Public works cooperated.

We all know there are going to be challenges dealing with a growing outdoor encampment in the middle of a big city. But this is something special, something important, a popular movement that's responding to an emergency situation in the United States. This is a sophisticated city; we can deal.

But just as the merchants complaining in Oakland is putting pressure on Mayor Jean Quan, this sort of stuff will put pressure on Lee to send in the cops. Ugh.