Police Clear Out Occupy SF
Police raided the Occupy SF camp at Justin Herman Plaza at around 1 a.m. this morning. Police say they gave protesters five minutes to clear out, and all but about 30 protesters left the camp. They were arrested, along with dozens of others who blocked Market Street in protest. There were two felony arrests, for assault on a police officer, police say.
8:04 p.m. From the SF Appeal at 7:10 p.m.:
One tent has been pitched at Justin Herman Plaza tonight and officers in riot gear are facing off with Occupy SF protesters after disrupting the group’s general assembly meeting.
Around three-dozen protesters are surrounding the tent, which was pitched on the bocce ball courts at the plaza. The tent is propping up a sign that reads, “You don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows.”
Officers wearing helmets and holding batons are surrounding the tent and protesters.
A second group of officers have created a perimeter around the plaza and hundreds of demonstrators have gathered beyond the police line. Full report
5:27 p.m. Latest arrest totals from AP:
At least 85 people were arrested as police cleared San Francisco’s Occupy encampment early Wednesday, police said.
Officials had not compiled exact numbers by Wednesday afternoon, but most of the approximately 85 people were cited and released after the daybreak raid, said Officer Albie Esparza.
About 15 people who were arrested on a variety of charges, ranging from resisting arrest to assault with a deadly weapon, were still in custody, Esparza said.
2:50 p.m. Reports on this afternoon’s protest from SF Weekly.
2:40 p.m. Somebody is live-streaming from the scene of an Occupy SF protest on Market Street:
1:20 p.m.: Video of police clearing out the encampment last night as protesters keep up a running commentary lambasting them:
1:15 p.m. From SF Weekly:
(A)s of 1 p.m., more than 150 protesters were spilling out onto Market Street, bringing the F line to a halt. Paul Rose, spokesman with Muni, confirmed that the assembly is preventing trains from moving along Market Street, causing “rolling delays” throughout the system.
Police are hovering nearby, but they don’t seem inclined to break up this peaceful assembly.
12:10 p.m. From Stephanie Martin: “Upwards of forty people in front of the Federal Reserve at 101 Market Street now — looks like this is their new base of operations for the moment.”
11:30 a.m. “It’s fairly quiet at Justin Herman Plaza,” reports Stephanie Martin. “There are a couple of dozen police with riot gear surrounding the plaza making sure nobody gets in. There’s a sign that says “park closed for renovation,” and city employees are clearing up the remains of the encampment, hosing it down.
“A police officer I talked to said it’s been a good day for him and that most people who have walked by have thanked him.”
Protesters are still milling about, planning to regroup at noon to discuss what their next move is.
9:40 a.m. From Stephanie Martin: At Bank of America at 425 Market, the majority of protesters have now left. About five remain with three shopping carts full of belongings. Police are patrolling the area and prodding people to leave.
In front of the Federal Reserve, some protesters left after police prevented them from sitting or lying on the ground, but a few people who remain, and police have backed off telling them they cannot sit.
Said one protester as he packed up to leave: “We’re going to make them chase us throughout the city!”
9:05 a.m. KQED’s Stephanie Martin reports the following from downtown:
- About a dozen protesters have congregated in front of Bank of America at 425 Market Street.
- At Justin Herman, police are guarding the plaza in riot gear. Evicted protesters are milling around and say they will try to reoccupy it today, but that looks like it will be rough going should they make an attempt.
- Some members of the cleared camp at Justin Herman have moved in front of the Federal Reserve, on Market and California Streets, where police had previously rousted an offshoot camp but other protesters still remained. However, police are preventing the group of three dozen or so from sitting or lying on the ground. No tents spotted, but sleeping bags, blankets and cardboard.
8:23 a.m. KQED’s Stephanie Martin is downtown and reports a mini-encampment has sprung up in front of Bank of America headquarters at 425 Market Street. Some protesters say this is in keeping with a new strategy — “pop-up camps,” creating a whack-a-mole problem for authorities.
8:10 a.m. Full statement from Mayor Ed Lee here (pdf) – “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.”
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — About two dozen police officers remained at the scene early Wednesday morning of the Occupy encampment in San Francisco, hours after authorities kicked out the protesters, took down about 100 tents and arrested 70 people as the camp was dismantled.
Police lined up to block access on Market Street while trash crews rake up paper and plastic bottles and remove chairs and other belongings that accumulated at the camp over the past two months.
Dozens of police cars, fire engines and ambulances surrounded the campsite at Justin Herman Plaza and blocked off the area during the raid. The effort involved more than 100 officers and began shortly after 1 a.m., said officer Albie Esparza. Police gave campers a few minutes warning to pack up and leave and then swept in, he said.
Police did not immediately have an estimate of how many people were in the plaza at the time.
“Most of the protesters went peacefully,” but one officer received minor injuries when two people threw a chair that cracked his face shield, Esparza said. They were arrested on suspicion of felony assault. Dozens of others were arrested for illegal lodging in the plaza and failure to disperse. In all, 70 people were taken into custody.
Kris Sullivan, 31, from Akron, Ohio, said many campers were sleeping and were taken by surprise. Sullivan, who said he had been at the camp for about two months, got his tent out but lost his pillow, mattress, blanket and another tent.
“They didn’t even give much time for anyone to get out. They handled it really badly. They could have given us a warning or some sort of eviction notice,” he said.
Radio reports said protesters could be heard chanting as they were taken away on a bus.
Police remained at the site after protesters briefly blocked a major thoroughfare near the site. Work crews were busy clearing debris form the tent city, which was set up in mid-October to protest bank bailouts and economic injustice.
Gene Doherty, 47, an Occupy protester who was not at the site during the raid but watched it on a live streaming website, said the Occupy protesters planned a noon rally at the site and still had several “mobile occupations” throughout the city.
“We will come back and reoccupy,” Doherty said. “A large segment of our community has no other options. They don’t have a home to go back to; this was their home.”
Protesters will continue to “send a message that this is our right to protest, our right to assemble, and to talk about the economic injustices in the world,” he said.