Ed Lee Visits Occupy SF

The newly elected mayor makes his first trip to the protest camp.

By Dan McMenamin
|  Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011  |  Updated 5:26 PM PDT
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Ed Lee Visits Occupy SF

Mat Luschek

Ed Lee answers questions from the press concerning the Occupy movement in San Francisco.

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee visited the "Occupy SF" encampment at Justin Herman Plaza for the first time this morning and said he was "a little disappointed" with the conditions at the camp.

Speaking to reporters at City Hall after his monthly mandated appearance at the Board of Supervisors meeting, Lee said he stopped by the encampment at about 8:30 a.m. to see firsthand what was going on there.

Demonstrators with "Occupy SF," the local version of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement that started in New York in September and has spread nationwide, have been camping out at the public plaza at the foot of Market Street for several weeks.

Lee said he was disappointed that campers "have not complied with our wishes" concerning public cleanliness and the size of the encampment, which he said has spread up Market Street and into the plaza's bocce ball courts.

He said he did not go into the encampment because "I haven't gotten the full clearance from our Department of Public Health," which he said informed him "that there are not only fleas but also health risks and risks to animals."

Lee said he did not meet directly with any campers today, but plans to meet with leaders of the "Occupy SF" movement on Wednesday and will discuss "whether or not they wish to comply with our conditions, and we'll move forward from there."

After the "Occupy Oakland" encampment across the Bay was dismantled early Monday morning, speculation has grown that a raid might be imminent in San Francisco, but Lee said there are no immediate plans being formulated.

However, he said his visit to Occupy SF today led him to believe that the previous concerns he has expressed to members of the encampment are not being addressed.

"We communicated that very clearly last time, so if they aren't going to adhere to that, then we will take action," Lee said.

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