Phil Matier: Dialogue Instead of Tear Gas
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— In the aftermath of last week’s violence in downtown Oakland when police dismantled the Occupy Oakland encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza, Occupy San Francisco’s tent city on the Embarcadero remains in place and Mayor Ed Lee is in no hurry to shut it down.
KCBS and San Francisco Chronicle Insider Phil Matier was at the Occupy SF site Monday morning and said things are getting a little crowded.
“There are toilets now and it’s moving into adjacent parking areas,” said Matier.
KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Reports:
There are more people there, according to Matier as well as a “24-7 police presence”, but it appears the cops are just standing around for now.
Matier said it’s no coincidence with the upcoming mayor’s race 10 days away that Mayor Lee has shown a change in tone towards the protesters. “Last week it was no tents and the cops geared up to go in. Oakland blew a day before and the cops didn’t go in,” said Matier.
Matier said a lot of the San Francisco police are thankful that they didn’t raid the encampment, because if they did, many of them would be answering to allegations of brutality.
Matier said aside from using tear gas or rubber bullets, the alternative would be to hit protesters with night sticks, but that the image of cops enforcing this kind of punishment could be caught on video. That wouldn’t exactly lead to a promising future career in his opinion.
“Rather than [drawing] lines in the sand or definite dates, we’re going to have dialogue,” he said on San Francisco’s approach in dealing with the movement.
According to Matier, Mayor Lee has already had one in his office and he’s apparently also brought in labor representatives and clergymen to work on some sort of “neutral situation” where the tents are taken down along the way.
The unions have since put in the toilets that the city wouldn’t put in.
Meanwhile in Oakland, Mayor Jean Quan was trying to open up the dialogue with the protesters camped out in front of her office at Frank Ogawa Plaza.
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