The occupation is over. Or is it?
San Francisco police officers clad in riot gearbroke up the Occupy SF encampment in San Francisco's Financial District late Wednesday night, ordering the protestors -- who had set up tents and other temporary structures on sidewalks and parks near the city's banking centers -- to disperse or face arrest.
Issuing orders to leave at around 10 p.m. Wednesday, about 80 officers in kevlar and helmets confronted 200 campers at about 12:45 a.m. Thursday in front of the Federal Reserve Bank at 101 Market Street, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The officers watched over the protestors while city workers removed tents, sleeping bags and other belongings.
The protestors were part of multiple demonstration movements, including the Occupy SF outpost of Occupy Wall Street as well as the Make Banks Pay movement. They say that the 1 percent of the country controls 99 percent of the resources. The group had organized a march a few hours prior on Wednesday.
"They took everything," one protester told the Chronicle. "They said if we showed an effort that we were removing our stuff and taking down our tents, it would be OK."
Police cited numerous city rules about temporary structures and open flames in an unsigned notice issued to protestors prior to the camp's dismantling. A police spokesman repeated Thursday that the department "respects free speech" but needed to clean up the sidewalk for safety reasons.
One man was arrested for allegedly assaulting an officer. His identity was not available.
Early Thursday morning, about 100 protesters were still occupying the area where the camp stood, but without tents and sleeping bags. In a statement issued Thursday, Occupy SF said it would not back down, setting the stage for another confrontation tonight.
"We are still at the camp indefinitely," the statement said. "We are calling on all of the 99 percent to mobilize ASAP. This occupation must continue to grow."