SF Sups pass resolution supporting 'Occupy SF'

November 1, 2011 8:28:32 PM PDT
In San Francisco supervisors are trying to avoid the kind of violence we saw last week in Oakland. They've passed a resolution supporting the occupiers at Justin Herman Plaza.

Tuesday evening the Board of Supervisors passed a non-binding resolution, authored by Supervisor John Avalos, by a vote of 8-3. It supports the occupation and also calls for the city not to use force to disperse the occupiers. However, there was another meeting that took place across City Hall that was just as important.

There was a meeting between Mayor Ed Lee and the protesters, union leaders, and clergy that lasted about an hour and a half. Both sides said they were satisfied with the progress that had been made. The mayor said religious leaders are considering supplying food to prevent occupiers from cooking on open flames, a violation of the fire code. Lee also said the costs of cleaning up the camp by public works crews will also be funded privately.

"They have to allow us to clean it up. Labor is indicating that they'll pay for that expense," said Lee.

"Occupy SF" member Carl Berger hopes the ongoing dialogue will prevent the use of force by police. He said it was important to prevent what happened two weeks ago when police came and removed tents, tarps and personal possessions.

"There is a general good feeling that this will be able to continue and were working with each other to make sure that happens," said Berger.

There was one significant concession by protesters.

"They were occupying the actual bocce courts that we spent monies on. By this weekend they moved off that," said Lee.

Protesters have pledged to extend their occupation by taking over the plaza in front of City Hall before the elections. The growing encampment may influence the outcome of the mayoral elections. Veteran political observer Alex Clemens says candidates have to be extremely careful with the position they take.

"There's always a danger when a local elected official decides they going to manage a national issue. Pandora's box comes into play and the law of unintended consequences is frequently invoked," said Clemens.

Berger is also an EMT who treated a woman who came to the camp's first aid station Monday night with stab wounds. He says the woman told him she received those stab wounds, not in the camp, but in the Tenderloin. The woman sought help at Occupy SF knowing the first aid station was there. More on that story here: Woman seeks help at Occupy SF encampment after stabbing

Another footnote: it looks like from now on these meetings with city agencies will be conducted with smaller groups, committees if you will, formed by the protesters. As long as their talking, the city has promised there will be no force.


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