SFPD Raid Occupy San Francisco Overnight

Occupiers attempted to reoccupy the plaza Wednesday afternoon, but were met by police in riot gear

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    NEWSLETTERS

    They raided the Justine Herman camp in the middle of the night.

    Police cleared tents from the Occupy San Francisco camp overnight.

    By sunrise the people were gone from Justin Herman Plaza and the clean up was well underway.

    By the afternoon, the occupiers were already attempting to reestablish their camp, but were met with police in riot gear. (Check back for updates).

    Police began the overnight raid around 1:30 a.m. They told campers they had five minutes to get out.

    The tent city was set up in October as part of the national movement to protest bank bailouts and economic injustice.

    San Francisco police said they arrest 70 people and took down about 100 tents in the raid. They said two of the arrests were for assaulting a police officer.

    "Most of the protesters went peacefully,'' but one officer received minor injuries when two people threw a chair that cracked his face shield, SFPD spokesman Albie Esparza told AP.

    San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr had things wrapped up enough to hold a media briefing at  4:30 a.m.

    "This area was declared a public health hazard," Suhr said. "It needs to be rehabilitated" now that the tents have been cleared.

    One SF Occupier Richard Kriedler claimed some protesters were were hurt during the raid, but he didn't have the details.  "This is a very emotional town. We have anarchists, we have very emotional people that this is not going to go over well with, and this could have been handled a lot better,'' Kriedler told AP.
     
     Some of the protesters told reporters Wednesday morning they were going to reoccupy. Anthony Kramer, 21, from St. Louis said, "We're not going to give up that easily."  They planned a noon and a 6 p.m. rally.

    Occupier Stanley Martin said the Occupy SF movement has itself to blame for the raid. "The city gave us every opportunity to keep the park clean" and  offered an alternate site for the protesters near 16th and Mission streets,  Martin told Bay City News.

    The Department of Public Works was allowing those whose belongings were confiscated to pick up the items -- except for tents --  Wednesday afternoon at 2323 Cesar Chavez St.

    Mayor Ed Lee released the following state on the Occupy raid:

    “San Francisco is a city that embraces free speech and freedom to assemble like no other city. I understand and sympathize with the anxiety and frustration caused by the lingering recession, economic disparity and joblessness in the country that prompted the Occupy movement that has now spanned the world over.

    I continue to fully support the spirit of the movement that calls for peaceful assembly and protest to bring about social change.

    From the beginning of the current Occupy SF encampment, I have made it clear to protesters that overnight camping at Justin Herman Plaza and on Market Street is not a sustainable or safe environment for protesters, the general public or City staff.

    In San Francisco, we took a measured and balanced approach and negotiated with Occupy leadership in good faith to disassemble the camp at Justin Herman Plaza. The City made a site available to the group, but unfortunately, communication with the liaison team designated by Occupy SF deteriorated to a point where it was clear that no progress could be made.

    In order to maintain public health, public safety and return the plaza for everyone’s use, City agencies peacefully and orderly ended the encampment at Justin Herman Plaza.

    We expect people to continue their Occupy protest movement and the City will continue to respect and facilitate everyone’s fundamental right to peacefully assemble and protest.”