On the one-year anniversary of the Occupy movement, SF protesters slept in tents Monday night. But early Tuesday - unlike old times - they packed out of Justin Herman Plaza peacefully. Bob Redell reports.
It was just like old times.
Members of the Occupy movement set up tents Monday night in Justin Herman Plaza, marking the one-year anniversary of the demonstrations. About 75 Occupiers set up eight tents and played music on the plaza overnight.
But this time, they weren't alone. More than a dozen police officers were parked nearby on Market Street, meeting regularly with demonstrators through the early morning hours. Police allowed the group to camp overnight to commemorate the anniversary of the movement, but told protesters they needed to clean up their tents by 6 a.m.
By 6:45 Tuesday, morning, the tents were gone, although a handful of protesters remained on the plaza.
"I'm not surprised," said police captain Mark Osuna. "It seemed like the Occupiers wanted to cooperate, so it's always nice to have that partnership."
Protester Cody Lestelle had a slightly different perspective.
"We don't have a whole lot of people out here, and they do. They get paid to be here with weapons," Lestelle said. "It's disguising what actually happened when they say we're cooperating. They have an army."
Occupiers will be allowed to stay on Justin Herman plaza during the day, because it is public space. However, it's unclear whether demonstrators will return to pitch their tents for a second night.