Mayor Lee wants long term solution for Occupy SF

November 18, 2011 8:12:50 PM PST
In San Francisco meanwhile, the occupiers are jittery. Protesters are expecting a police raid at any time, but Mayor Ed Lee seems to be softening his stance a bit, saying now that he is seeking a long term solution.

Lee is still not satisfied with the improvements the protesters have made in the last couple of days. He does, however, believe they are making an effort. He still wants 100 percent compliance, but still has not mentioned those two words "or else."

We asked Lee, as he visited merchants in the Castro District Friday morning, if the occupiers were doing enough to clean up their tent city.

"Somebody said there was a D+ grade as opposed to an F, but at least there was some movement," said Lee.

The mayor's comments come on the heels of Thursday's visit by Public Works director Mohammed Nuru. He inspected the camp to see if protesters were meeting health and safety conditions. City officials have declared the encampment a public health nuisance.

Protesters say they are complying. The big tarps tied to trees are now gone, the bocce ball court is empty of tents, and the dogs seem to have disappeared. Protesters disagree with the mayor's D+ grade.

"A D+? I beg to disagree with the mayor elect. I'd say we're probably looking at a B-," said Matty Chan, an Occupy SF protester.

The raid by police, which protesters feared would happen Thursday night, did not occur. Just in case it happens on Friday night, occupiers are asking supporters to join them in resisting police action just like they did Thursday night.

"We had over 800 people here last night who came out to support us, to be present in case the police department raided Occupy San Francisco," said Katt Hoban, an Occupy SF protester.

"We locked arms and it was wonderful because a lot of these faces, I'd say 50 percent of those faces, were people I've never seen before," said Mike Carisoza, an Occupy SF protester.

But on Friday, Lee seemed to imply that police action was not as imminent as the protesters believe.

"If we move without a long term idea of where this goes, you simply get re-occupation back in. You get intensified attitudes around this," said Lee.

Lee is now saying he wants a long term solution, Thursday he said he wanted immediate compliance. We can't read his mind, but he does seem to have softened his stance.


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