SF using sit-lie law to keep Occupiers from returning


The number of Occupiers had dwindled down to about three dozen people. They were holding their ground outside the Federal Reserve building, their original protest site. Many of them said they had no idea where the movement was going next.

"I don't know the process so much or who's in charge of what," protester Dena Cook said.

Police Chief Greg Suhr tells ABC7 that his officers will be enforcing the city's sit-lie law to prevent permanent encampments from happening again.

"During the sit-lie hours that were passed by the electorate here in San Francisco and that being the case, we're enforcing that," Suhr said.

But police were giving protesters some slack. Last night, they allowed about 15 protesters to sleep in Justin Herman Plaza in sleeping bags. But those who set up tents were told to take them down.

People in one tent were chased by officers along the Embarcadero. Police finally confiscated the large tent.

At about 7 a.m., police moved in and awakened the protesters, telling them to take their belongings and leave the plaza. All complied without incident.

"Justin Herman Plaza is closed for renovations; no one is supposed to be there, it's a violation of law to be in Justin Herman Plaza," Cmdr. Rich Corriea said.

City crews moved in to begin working on areas of the plaza where new grass will be planted.

Many of those still occupying the sidewalk at the Federal Reserve building are homeless. Michael O'Grady was kicked out of his apartment.

"I had very limited resources, not actually enough to even rent another apartment, so I joined the movement," he said.

Mayor Ed Lee says there are still more than 100 shelter beds for them. He says many have already taken the city's offers.

"We got some, over 50 people homeless services; that night we had to end the encampment, some nine people found homeless shelters because we had outreach there all the time," Lee said.

Justin Herman Plaza was quiet Thursday evening. There was no general assambly and only a handful of protesters remained outside the Federal Reserve. Police remained at the plaza.

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.