Part of Occupy SF camp dismantled in surprise raid

November 16, 2011 6:20:32 PM PST
San Francisco police removed more than a dozen tents overnight at the Occupy San Francisco camp and made arrests to prevent the encampment from spreading. Mayor Ed Lee met with several protest leaders Wednesday to try and find a solution to what he now considers a growing health hazard in a public space.

Police moved in around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, issuing a warning and then arrested seven people who didn't heed that warning and removing 15 tents from Market Street between Steuart and Spear.

"There have been complaints all along about this block of Market Street, the collection of tents, but it got quite clumped up here at the end. You can see that we had barricades. The sidewalk had narrowed from a 30 foot sidewalk to a six foot sidewalk, so we needed to come in. We asked people to move along and when they didn't we detained them and issued citations," San Francisco Police Commander Richard Correia said.

At least one protester would like to see a little rapport with Lee.

"Let's try and work something out together to be cleaner, neater, more organized so we don't have to worry about a threat, we can focus on what we want to do. Instead of constantly standing on your toes 24/7 and you know we can keep them standing on their toes," Occupy SF resident Toast said.

Lee, leaders from several city agencies and representatives from the Occupy SF camp met for about an hour Wednesday afternoon and the feeling afterward was that Lee appears to be ready to take action against the encampment.

"I need dramatic changes in the occupiers' presence there and their willingness to cooperate with the conditions we've set out and we're giving them an immediate opportunity to demonstrate that and we'll see what happens," Lee said. "I want an immediate compliance; I need to see demonstration of that, like, today."

I don't know that I can call it an ultimatum because I didn't hear an 'or else' but at the same time I'm going to continue to be wary," Occupy SF representative Matt said.

Protesters spent the afternoon and evening marching through the streets of San Francisco, with a group of protesters taking over a Bank of America branch in the Financial District.

There are now about 179 tents in Justin Herman Plaza.

uReport:
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