Occupy SF warned again to take down tents

November 18, 2011 1:35:57 AM PST
Protesters at Occupy San Francisco's Market Street encampment got notices from the city Thursday, reminding them they are violating orders to take their tents down. It's the third-such notice and the occupiers believe it means a police raid is imminent.

The encampment in front of the Federal Reserve building at 101 Market Street received a notice that said "All occupants of tents along the sidewalks of Market Street must vacate immediately." Occupiers at the main encampment received their own notice from the city saying that the city has declared the camp a public health nuisance.

Although the notices are different, they have a similar meaning - the police now have a reason to go in and end the encampments.

Several occupiers are moving from the sidewalk on Market Street because of a notice posted Thursday by the Department of Public Works. The city says the Occupy camp is not in compliance with health and safety codes and the occupiers have been ordered to remove their tents.

But many protesters remain defiant.

"They can keep giving out ultimatums but this is a moment; it's not like we're asking permission to be here, we're staying here," protester Prince Jerrick Falling-Darling said.

The occupiers on Market Street say they are complying with the city's demands. They say they clean their encampment three times a day.

"We are insistent on cleanliness, we are insistent on no alcohol or hard drugs, no violence," protester Matty Chan said.

At the main camp at Harry Bridges Plaza, the landscape has changed. The large tarps tied to trees by ropes are virtually gone and so are the tents on the bocce ball court. Occupiers say the changes are a result of Wednesday's meeting between their representatives and Mayor Ed Lee and that they were complying with his demands. But the mayor insisted again Thursday that the encampment is now more serious than just a violation of city codes.

"It is an officially declared health nuisance by our public health department," Lee said.

Lee says he has given occupiers enough notices and enough time to make all the changes he is demanding.

"We're going to have no doubt, no doubt in anybody's mind that we've appropriately noticed," Lee said.

City officials toured the camp late Thursday afternoon and said that it did appear improvements had been made. Officials would not say if the improvements were enough to stop police from coming in. Only a few officers were seen walking the perimeter of the plaza. However, some started stacking barricades in one corner near the camp. When asked why the police were stacking them, they said they had no idea, but they were simply told to store them there.

Thursday night the occupiers danced and rallied support for their cause. They also practiced non-violent action training so they know how to passively resist if police move in and start arresting people.


Load Comments