Occupy SF plans rallies in response to police raid

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Occupy San Francisco protesters are calling for emergency rallies at noon outside 101 Market Street and 6 p.m. at Justin Herman Plaza in response to an early morning police raid carried out today, Dec. 7, which cleared the entire encampment.

Police made 70 arrests at Justin Herman Plaza while dismantling the Bay Area's last major Occupy encampment. According to a post on the Occupy SF website, "Bicycles, books from the library, tents, and people’s belongings were thrown directly into trash crusher trucks. Many occupiers were trying to leave the area and were arrested anyway. Many more elected to get arrested as a form of peaceful protest."

Mayor Ed Lee issued a statement about the raid, prefacing it by saying he supports the spirit of the movement. "From the beginning of the current Occupy SF encampment, I have made it clear to protesters that overnight camping at Justin Herman Plaza and on Market Street is not a sustainable or safe environment for protesters, the general public or City staff," Lee wrote. "In San Francisco, we took a measured and balanced approach and negotiated with Occupy leadership in good faith to disassemble the camp at Justin Herman Plaza. The City made a site available to the group, but unfortunately, communication with the liaison team designated by Occupy SF deteriorated to a point where it was clear that no progress could be made."

Lee added, "City agencies peacefully and orderly ended the encampment at Justin Herman Plaza."

Live Twitter updates told a different story. "SFPD threw away entire backpacks filled w/ computers, homeless peoples life savings.. very sadistic..behavior by SFPD tonite..." a Tweet issued by Davey D noted.

"Police raid and destroy OccupySF. OccupySF's kitchen served 1,700 needy people everyday at no charge to the city.... " reads another update by DefaultMovie.

Two hours ago, Occupy SF posted this update on Twitter: "Early morning raids can destroy property but not the movement. Reassemble today!"

**UPDATE** Most of the 70 people taken into custody this morning have been released from jail by now, according to a small group of Occupy SF protesters who've set up an info table and chairs outside the Montgomery BART station. However, several remain in custody on felony charges of assault on a police officer, after allegedly throwing a chair at an officer who was clad in riot gear. About 30 arrests were made at the camp, and another 40 were arrested on Market Street after protesters spilled into the street in response to the raid.

Yael Chanoff contributed to this report.

Comments

What were they thinking? Could be State time for that.

Once they turned down the offered alternate premises, this was only a matter of time. The Occupiers can only blame themselves.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 11:34 am

If you call a rat-infested site a reasonable offer by the City, there's no hope for you.

Posted by Peter on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

Point is the protestors were offered a place that is out of the cold and the rain. AFAIK, no other city has offered the campers anything.

They should have taken it.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

Agree with the Guest... they were offered a gated place. The streets have rats the whole NYC have rats, so it's silly to compare having a fenced place vs streets. They could have the same kitche serving 1700 people there, they could have stored they laptops there. They HAD an offer... the refused. Homeless, will always be homeless that is Their lifstyle regardless of their political outlook. The OCCUPY SF Was their comfort shield with food and pitty.... there is no political objective or a goal. They cannnot re-org they entire US, let's be REALISTIC and not like a brainless creatures...

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

You totally miss the point of the Occupy movement if you think accepting an alternative location provided by the government was ever a realistic option. The whole point of Occupy is to reclaim public space, accepting the offer would have meant handing over control of when and where to protest to the local Government. And the fact that the atlernative site was gated makes it even worse as it is not a community/public event.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

And you think you can take over parks, libraries, courts and city halls for no better reason than you think you're right?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

The Wall Street banks took over our government, but people can't occupy our park?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

The public don't need a reason to make use of public space.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

public land. The police just enforced that.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 08, 2011 @ 6:30 am

rat-infested?

I thought none of the Occupiers moved there...

Posted by TruthHammer on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

So I'm not clear what the issue is? Is the city supposed to provide high quality housing to these people?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

We are being subjected to a police state where protesting is not being tolerated. These evictions exemplify the suppression of our civil liberties including the right to organize, one of the basis rights set forth by our founding fathers. Police brutality is running rampant under orders from Governors who have their pockets lined with Wall Street and Special Interest monies. Stand up and lend your voice with these free posters I was compelled to design on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/11/propaganda-for-occupy-movemen...

Posted by Brandt Hardin on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

You don't have the right to permanently and exclusively occupy public land and set up a home in it.

You do have the right to temporarily protest, having previously gained a license.

The law is clear on this, else the police could not have acted.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

please...

are you really that stupid?

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 1:37 am

It was so good to see them getting booted like little maggots. Now I can see the beautiful view from my corner CEO office right across the street:)

Thanks SFPD should have been a month earlier.

Posted by TONY THE GREAT on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

Public opinion has turned against the protestors while the story has moved from page one to page nine.

Lee's waiting game was shrewd, while his offer of alternate premises made the occupiers look selfish and self-absorbed.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 1:12 pm
Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 1:50 pm
Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

To Mayor Ed Lee,
Hi,
Was disheartened to hear of the military-style "raid" of OccupySF...giving folks 5 minutes to get out, and trashing their belongings in the middle of the night.

These people, all around the country and all around the globe, stand in for many, many more—myself included. I'd be there myself more of the time, but for the fact that I need to be looking for work as well as making art, as I am an artist.

If there are homeless at the encampment, that is a sign that the system needs re-vamping: your responsibility.

I hope you are listening to, what at this point in time should be the very clear message coming from this robust movement: that the system needs changing and new regulations need to be put in place so that all may thrive. Enough with giveaways to big corporations under the false premise that without it, they would not stay. Under the false premise that it creates jobs. Start seeing the problems that the Occupy Movement is a symptom of, and please address those problems. The world and the citizens of San Francisco are watching and I can only hope that you will open your eyes to the real, underlying structural inequities/inefficiencies that this movement will not abandon: People before profit, in all its many forms! The wealthy and big corporations can stay rich, but need to take responsibility for being a part of the whole. They need to give back, and government needs to be at the forefront of making this happen. In other words: be responsive to the needs of the people you represent instead of throwing those on the frontlines to the curb!

mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org

Posted by Daniele E. on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

The whole "movement" was built on a myth - that the American people aren't capable of managing the thrusts and parries of the market.

Truth is - in this country - we love the markets and the opportunities that gives us - all of us - can get rich by playing the markets shrewdly.

Sitting around in the rain and not washing never got anyone anything. Lee was right. Move on.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

Which big Wall Street investment banks are capable of managing the thrusts and parries of the market without turning to the American people for a bail out?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

A day that will live in infamy.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

Not everything is significant.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

Daniele is 100% right, but the occupy is trying to make a better how do u say ''world'' for us. peace and love all around and helping the homeless, etc, but many people in the occupy are very violent and thats what the occupy is supposed to be preventing also. the occupy has a point they are trying to be a good cause and i have many friends that are in SF occupy as we speak, i unfortunately i could not make it im too young.it is very sad at what happend this morning and i dont understand the reson for it at all but it happend. and yes there are alot of problems the occupy has caused and is causeing and they should\need to address the issues but we also need to open our eyes see the issues and maybe do something more also? and for the police, who are they really protecting, arresting people for acctually speaking out, just singing or setting there? are they scared? im young (13) so help me understand please. I believe more people should join the occupy,We have the ability to do so much more then the police/public/then the people think! So let speak up or at least lets try, not just the occupy.We all have a voice..........................

Posted by Amy. L on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

I never saw such BS in my life! I came to participate in the called-for General Assembly tonight at Justin Herman because I wanted to show my support for the movement. Last I checked, the people are allowed (by law) to peaceably assemble.

And, I now read Mayor Lee's statement from earlier today of "embracing free speech and freedom to assemble"...and how "the City will continue to respect and facilitate everyone's fundamental right to peacefully assemble and protest".

Well, why was it then that I get surrounded by countless police for doing just that tonight with my fellow citizens?? Why also, when I was ready to leave the Plaza as I'd planned--an hour or so into it--was I prevented from doing so by said police!!

And then, as long as I was forcibly made to stay there, when I approached to see/hear whoever was speaking into the mike, why was I grabbed by cops and made to wear handcuffs, which hurt--for more than an hour? That's respecting a person's right to assemble? Really?

I'm disgusted—by this unnecessary show of force, and by this unbelievable waste of money—by our city officials. How much did this charade cost??

And, "Guest", we created this system that produces homeless people in our cities, and we can tweak it. As I said in my letter to the Mayor, the rich can stay rich for all anyone cares--that's not the point. But they should give back as part of the society of which they are a part. Nobody is saying no to opportunity or to the markets.

Posted by Daniele E. on Dec. 08, 2011 @ 12:23 am

Yeah the thing is, we don't care Danielle. Honestly, I think you guys were treated much better than you deserved. If you don't like it, go to another city. I hear Oakland is nice this time of year.

Posted by Matt on Dec. 08, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

And for anybody who wants to read the Mayor's statement, here it is. It ought to be accompanied by some video footage of what went down tonight, though. For perspective.

http://dig.abclocal.go.com/kgo/PDF/Lee_OccupySF_Statement.pdf

Posted by Daniele E. on Dec. 08, 2011 @ 12:53 am

i've read lots of reports on the raid breaking up OSF and have seen nothing about the labor council and tim paulson keeping this promise. hundreds of union folks were supposed to be ready to help prevention the raid and even go to jail. well, what happened to paulson's promise?

http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2011/11/18/labor-ready-fight-occupy-eviction

Tim Paulson, director of the San Francisco Labor Council, just told me that he's got as many as 500 union members on alert to stand with the OccupySF encampment if the city attempts to evict the protesters. The Labor Council has put together a communications system to let members who have volunteered to help know when a showdown with the police is coming, and the volunteers are ready to spend as much as 24 hours at Justin Herman Plaza, and if necessary, in jail.

"We mobilized for last night, but nothing happened," he said. "We're in a state of constant vigilance." ....

Posted by MPetrelis on Dec. 08, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

Those union workers could have been fired for disobeying orders, and would have lost those ridiculously unaffordable and unsustainably generous job benefits.

Do you really think that the average city worker gives a crap about a bunch of whiney protestors if their vital economic interests are at risk?

The campers outlasted their support, and we all got bored with them. Sorry.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 08, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

Hey Matt,
Maybe that's the difference between you (the status quo) and the occupiers. We care.

Posted by Daniele E. on Dec. 08, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

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