San Francisco Officials Fear Disease Will Spread At Occupy Encampment

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Poor sanitation and evidence of lice and fleas at the Occupy San Francisco encampment endanger the health of everyone in the overcrowded, makeshift tent city at Justin Herman Plaza, public health officials said Wednesday.

“Everybody that’s been down there knows it has to change,” said Dr. Tomas Aragon, a public health officer who has been conducting inspections twice a day at the Occupy SF protest.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Aragon said the lack of sanitation and food safety, combined with the large quantities of debris in very tight quarters, made the Occupy encampment a tinder box for gastrointestinal and respiratory infections.

“Whenever you bring a group of people together, they’re going to bring whatever they have on them,” he said. “Although we have not detected an outbreak, we did identify one person, for example, that had lice.”

Some Occupiers have cooperated with efforts such as the one by the SPCA to identify potentially deadly canine infections such as parvovirus.

On the other hand, some of the chronically homeless in the camp have mental health problems, including substance abuse, that have contributed to a culture of lawlessness, said Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White.

“We’ve seen fist fights. There’s been acts of violence,” she said, problems that only appear to be growing. “There’s too many people living in an environment that you’re not really supposed to occupy and live in.”

Aragon and Hayes-White have recommended the encampment be pared down, if not dismantled entirely before a serious outbreak of disease occurs.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

City officials have pressed the demonstrators to put more space between tents and not put up large tarps. After a meeting Wednesday between Occupy SF organizers and Mayor Ed Lee, some campers seemed ready for change.

“Being able to spread out our tents and take down tarps,” said Christopher Rey, one of the Occupiers, would “get rid of a shanty town and put up the protest” they had originally intended.

As the nights have cooled, the camp has gotten somewhat smaller. But those who remain said they have no plans to leave despite the possibility that a police raid could happen at any moment.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Barbara Taylor
  • Tours Martel

    Running a clean hygenic gathering of a large number of people requires a level of competence and organization not usually found in a mob. And OWS thinks it should run the country?

    • sppedstan


    • amitore

      The Kenyan, The witch of the West(Pelosi) and all the Demo -rats said ” You are our people” We are on your side.Flocks of the feathers, flock together.

    • New York NIck

      “ the smell of OWS encampment Napalm in the morning!! ;)

    • zwil

      And this is how these people want our country to look? Thats socialism for ya!

    • Jean Poole

      Hose them down with DDT.

      • the fifty three percent

        All that will do is kill the fleas and bed bugs.
        Napalm would be better. That will sterilize everything

      • rip300rog

        I’m sure we have some old moldy barrelles of Agent Orange laying around somewhere.

  • ani

    The SF Occupy MUST go. They are a huge menace. The police must still arrest these cowards!

  • Ray

    I am a 1%er in full support of the Occupation that is deeply offended by Phil M’s comments that “lice and fleas” are a problem at the camp suggesting they are a group of destitute lepers. In fact they are a group of like minded, possibly unemployed fellow citizens of SF Bay who are fed up and trying to be heard.

    Who could be against such a movement to throw light on how corporations routinely purchase politicians in the most corrupt federal government not seen since the fall of the Roman Empire. Literal morons making decisions in Congress that greatly affect us all simply because corporations and the deluded Koch Brothers wanted to buy a seat so they could pollute a particular state or voting district. This is insane! Tea Baggers, who are the least educated, poorest and completely manipulated group with a movement actually advocating lowering taxes for the very corporations pulling their strings.
    Thanks Tea Bagger, but someone has to pay for roads, police, fire, taking care of the less more fortunate progressives like me will have to pay while corporations get their every wish.

    Feel powerless? You should feel like a pawn in a chess game wherein the government wants to ban abortion so they have more children to work, pay taxes, die in oil invasions while imprisoning millions that will not fall inline, in for profit prisons. The Occupation will only get stronger and include a wider group of concerned citizens since the more abuse the police dish out, the more resolve the protesters become. Ask one before you make another un-informed comment…you are them, we are you.

    • jimyjon

      Why not donate your 1% income to the cause and jump intot the disease infested group of idiots then and stfu.

      • Bill

        The best part of Ray’s understanding ran down his mothers legs and that goes for the trouble makers at these ralleys as only a sensable educated person would make there claim and then go back to work and try to make a change to there beliefs thru work and example and vote. If unenployment bennefits stop then the weakest in character will join forces and start a watts like distruction all over again.

      • Bud

        What Ray means is that his parents are 1%’ers and that he, living in their basement at age 37, is in full support of the occupiers. He’d be there in SF for sure if he had bus fare.

    • Try And Take It

      And then what? Are you people going to create businesses so those looking for work can find gainful employment? No, you want to shut things down and create NOTHING other than chaos and opportunities for your puppet masters to bring us closer to a one world government. Wake up, go home and find a job and quit whiniing. Nothing works under Communism except death and depravity. Wear your Che Gueverra tee shirt and think your a big radical, you count and your making a statement. The majority of America has had it with this 60’s protest BS revival. Go and camp your ass in front of the White House, in front of all the Hollywood elites, in front of Michael Moore’s house. You have taken the bait from your puppet mastrers who are telling you morons to burn thngs down, destroy the system and you to will live in a utopia where everyone loves each other and every one shares according to his ability. Wake up and realize the Van Jones’s of the world have made useful idiots out of you people.

    • Ken

      Hey Ray, still breast feeding from mommie and living in the basement I see. You are not a 1%er, you are a lice, flea infected FLEABAGGER.

    • Old Fart

      Do you really mean to use the perjorative “Tea Bagger”? I see this used everywhere. I must assume that users of this term are either extremely vulgar or ignorant of what this term means… You had me on your side up to that point.

    • Mike H

      Ray, you lie! Your comment about the Tea Party sounds like a typical liberal talking point. The liberal media has tried over and over to smear the Tea Party. The irony is that everything they accused the Tea Party of doing is exactly what the OWS people are doing. The Tea Party is a good cross section of middle class America that is fed up with the ballooning dept and out of control federal spending. The Tea Party protested, obeyed the law, organized, and then went home and voted. The OWS people just want something for nothing and someone else to pay for it. They are willing to use terrorist like tactics to get what the want. If the OWS protestors are so smart and educated, why can;t any of them string two coherent sentences together?

    • Doug

      If you are truly a 1% you inherited it. You certainly don’t have the smarts or drive to make it on your own.

    • nilochsaloob

      Ray….I am sure glad that your mother did not conform to your abortion philosophy…. otherwise… you wouldn’t be here.

      Why spew hate to the unborn? Why not hate the illicit sex that you people practice?

    • ster411

      First, your writing shows you are NOT a 1%’er. You are a public school educated college drop-out.

      The Tea Party does not advocate lower taxes, just not raising them because it will be wasted and will hurt the economy.

      Die for oil? We wouldn’t have to if you libs would let us get our own out of the ground. It is YOU that makes us depend on others.

      I bet you really are one of the 47%’ers. The 47% who pay NOTHING in Fed income taxes. It’s us, the 53% who are tired of you wanting more and more, while destroying our property, vandalizing our towns and electing people only for what they will GIVE you for free…. and take from us.

      You are not robbing the rich (there are not enough). You are robbing people like me. I had two employees. Because of people like you, I had to lay them off. I now have one PART-TIME employee. That’s it. And I now make less (per hour) than that employee. Yes, I work about 70 hours per week. I started my own business after I was laid off. Did you? Why not?

      What do you do?

    • Bill

      Ray – you could have saved all of your energy for the ranting and add to your credability by donating your income. I dare you. If you did that, you would prove to me that you are who you are. I guess you won’t. I thought so. Weasel!

      • Dan

        Bill, if Ray did that you would soon discover that he is not part of the 1%. He’s just another troll sitting in his mothers basement spouting about the tea party, and repeating what he heard on chris matthews show or heard on msnbc.

    • tgc

      So why aren’t you and your flea infested friends in Washington protesting the POLITICIANS that are cashing in on the corruption that you claim to hate so much? Why aren’t you camped out in front of Pelosi’s office…we all now know just how corrupt she is! You want to know why…I’ll tell you why…because you are a hypocrite! This “movement” is bought and paid for by the Democrat Party along with big Unions…who get their money from huge corporations…therefore you are “protesting” the very people that are telling you what the hell to do! You and your flea infested buddies are jokes, you ARE the useful idiots! You are being used to try and keep the corrupt politicians in office so they can continue to make money off the corportations you claim to hate!

    • Marae


    • George Johnson

      Wow, you’re truly ignorant.

      This isn’t about jobs, or inequality. It’s about turning the country marxist/socialist/communist. All you have to do is really listen to them and their demands.
      Since when do a few people like this, with STUPID idea such as “forgive all debt” get to run the show??? Where’s MY VOTE???

      God, educate yourself eh??

    • George Johnson

      On second thought, I call BS.

      This is really an OWS protester trying to sound like we should all support t6hese morons.


    • Tommy Victorious

      Take your meds or get off the meth. You’re a 100% uninformed, Soros-kool-aid bloated, liberal-infested, leftist propagandist. You are “deeply offended” because the truth hurts. Thanks for sharing flea-bagger!

    • Phillip

      People like you make me sick. They have lice and fleas because they behave like animals.

    • Diego Roswell

      Brainwashed liberal democrats are not worth a nickel to any hard working American with a family and bills to pay. No one cares about your blaming, your whining, your trash talking or your fleas. Your comments are so far from the main stream of America that you sound delirious and delusional, even for San Francisco.

    • Hal McCombs

      Hey Ray? Why do you leftists always lie? And can’t you at least make your ‘argument’ seem believable?

    • Incredulous

      baaaah! bbaaaaah!
      Four legs good!
      Two legs baaaaaad!

    • yankeefan

      “destitute lepers” Hey, II like that!

    • p3orion

      You sound like you have a problem with “lice and fleas.” What could be a better symbol for the Occupy movement than a horde of mindless bloodsucking parasites?

    • Gavin Snyder

      Ray, perhaps you didn’t get the memo, but the current administration has more former Fed, Sachs, AIG, and Corporate folks in his administration & cabinet than any other in history. And don’t get me started on all of the CFR, Trilaterals, and NWO morons.

      If the group you support so much had any sense, they’d be marching on the government (that’s what the Tea Party did). After all, it’s the federal government that sets the rules by which they operate. And it’s the federal government that bailed them out when things ran amok.

      Ray, the problem with your group is that they’re too ignorant to comprehend the root of our current (tragic) economic situation.

    • Ray

      You have seen too many movies. Rich kids are complete A-holes and would never share their wealth preferring to waste it on their own selfish indulgences. No one lives in a basement with their Mother unless you do.

      Wow, so many people that would trample their own neighbor because they heard it on Fox Noise / Faux News. We are all in trouble during the next big quake with all those ignorant fish cretins in SUVs driving over people because their “special”. They are special alright… palin special.

      As for my income, I earned every comma with my 4 year $3,000 UC education paid for by $4/hr work study programs, 2% NDSL, 4% student loans and lots of hard work. Poor kids today have no chance for this.

      If I didn’t abort an unwanted child in 1980, I would not have been able to build my business to create 512 jobs, cross wearing J Freaks included. Pro jobs from Pro Choice.

      Who are you people? It is called human compassion…Google it… like the Tea Baggers should have done before printing Tee-shirts….ooops.

      I think I will fire all the Black people Mexicans and Christians tomorrow..I’ll .tell them they are being raptured soon to meet their dead guy. Like that better?

      • walljasper

        Time for your medications, Mister Troll.

      • Ray

        Wow, they have the “Internets” in Florida? I thought they just had a corrupted Secretary of State who rigged elections so a sub par, drunken, AWOL coward could destroy the global economy with two failed oil invasion… and bumpkins.

        Pull the curtains in your double wide trailer its time to burn your fictional book of absurd and impossible stories. This book was written in Spain in 1507 by Bishop Landa, head of the Inquisition to control really stupid people like yourself. After you burn it, pray to one of fifty imagined super natural alien gods like Zeus, Isis, Apollo, Ganesh and Buddha that live between the Moon and Uranus. Pronounced Your Anus.

        In God We Trust? Which one, “special” person?

      • 80sBruin

        Ray: Love that! Only a fellow UC alum would know that UC was only ~$300 a quarter in 1983. I paid $2900 for 4 years at UCLA and kids today will never get that chance. I agree with everything you wrote so not all ~50ish men are old farts.

      • LovinFL

        Wow – you have an imagination! What was that? Mommy is calling you, it’s past your bedtime!

    • Keefer Beefer

      If you are truly a member of the 1%, I would bet your life it was given to you and not earned just by reading your ignorant remarks.

    • statesrule

      Don’t dissolve your mind in this garbage..It is a ruse to distract from the Obama failures..the ACORN is working hard to plant again

    • Dennis D

      God Bless the KOCH BROS. They are job creators in America. America needs 1000 more like them

    • MaggieLyn

      First of all, it is a proven fact the members of the Tea Party, as well as their supporters, are well educated. You refer to the Koch Brothers, who by the way do not run the Tea Party, but do you know who George Soros is? He is definately running the OWS movement. The individuals and organizations behind OWS could not care less about the protestors. They are simply using them to create chaos in this country to further their own goals.

      There are legitimate, and lawful, ways to correct wrongs and grievances in this country. Educate yourself! Unfortunately, you have attracted a lot of those too lazy to do anything really productive. They are hangers-on using OWS for companionship, sex, food and anything else they can get for just being there.

      Wake up and smell the coffee. You have the opportunity to strive to be the best you can be in this country. Perhaps you should spend some time in a foreign country and see what the other side of the coin is like. There is no such thing as a “free lunch”! Take a look at what is happening in Europe where people do not think they should have to work more than 30 hours a week and the government should provide for all their needs. Yea, works well doesn’t it? When 50% of the population pay no taxes something is defiinately wrong. You could take all the money of the top 1% and you would not have enough to pay the bills of this country. This country doesn’t have a tax problem. It has a spending problem. Your baseless arguments reveal your lack of understanding of economics as well as history.

    • LLeone

      Oh please, spare us the piety and the righteous indignation…The most corrupt administration in history has long had your vote in the bag–and most of the rest of these Occupation stooges as well….Admit it–our community organizer-in-chief has cooked all this up because he’s run out of ideas. And he needs a scapegoat–faceless wealthy parasites will do…George Soros, Jeff Imelt, and everyone at Goldman Sachs and Solyndra are immune to all criticism and doubtless supportive of your slavish devotion to their political payola.

      But there’s nothing heroic about dystentary and body lice. And that is exactly what you get without handwashing and bathing regularly. Respiratory illnesses threaten to afflict the population at large. From a public health perspective–these are Third World living conditions and have gone well beyond the pale of First Amendment protection. You’re a threat to the community at large.

      And if you insist on inciting violence, property damage, flash riots and assaults on blue collar policemen then you reap what you sow–the liberal use of nightsticks upside your lawless lefty skulls…And a well earned and lengthy prison sentence with court costs.

      Lawlessness and threats to public safety are not protected political speech. But it’s educational to watch ourpresident, Obama, hard at work–rasing a dirty-shirted army of storm troopers driven by fear, ignorance, and hatred of successful people–the very wealthy elites Obama caters to–with such reckless disregard for taxpayers..

      These protests are a welcome distraction to this corrupt regime–they should help obscure Obama’s shameless billion buck reelection campaign funded by Wall Street fat cats in the first place. The for sale sign is up at the White House–and the Occupiers are totally silent on this issue. Like the good little tools of the rich they are….Let the spectacle begin. All America is watching the hypocrisy of these Obama stooges on display. It won’t win you any votes but it’ll sure be entertaining.

    • Casper

      You are a moron, and should feel insulted. You possess little of anything that others may want. Certainly not your ‘intellect’!

    • Stacey

      Ray – You really have no clue as to what Tea Party folks believe . . . I’m a government employee and I agree with smaller and more efficient government. I’m all for giving a hand up rather than a hand out — people should work for what they get. I don’t mind paying taxes for the necessary things, but I don’t believe our government is spending our money wisely! So, I guess you could call me a “Tea Bagger” (what an awful label) who thinks you’re clueless about what we stand for. Most of these Occupy folks don’t even know why they’re down there. I think it’s ironic that some of the groups are moving because they don’t want the homeless to come eat their food.

    • walljasper

      Bwahaha..hat a rich brown bloviation.

      Better save your panhandling money for some Rid or A200, maybe some free penicillin too.

      • JWM

        Go with the A200 for crab lice. Don’t ask me how I know that.

    • jtWallace

      Ray………..You’ve had your head up your bung too long or, overdoing the koolaid, or your puppet strings are getting too tight. You might think of occcupying the White House, or Congress where insider trading has been going on if you’re serious about corruption.

    • Stephanie Kremer

      Ray, I dont think you can be anymore misinformed about the Tea Party movement. We stand for fiscal responsibility of the government and for the need to keep the government accountable for their actions. Yes, there is much corruption with corporations buying politicians to make decisions in their favor. So this is all agree upon. However, the Tea Party does not agree with class warfare and we do believe in every citizen utilizing their opportunity to be successful. Sitting in a camp, not working, receiving free meals and handouts, while expecting to be entitled to other people’s earnings is nothing more than being crooked all in itself. If the Occupiers are upset about the tax code, and may I mind you that the top 1% pay more than the bottom 90% combined and approximately 40% of people dont pay any taxes, then get involved in changing the tax code to something that is “fair” across the board. Such as the fair tax. WE Tea baggers, as you like to call us, do not believe there is liberty for some and not for others. That is why we dont believe that taxing one group more for just being successful is the answer. However, corruption is not acceptable in a pure capitalist society. So instead of barking up the Wall Street Tree perhaps going to the source, OUR corrupt government who gave the bailouts, is more beneficial. Sitting in tents and screaming to people who are actually working accomplishes nothing. Additionally, calling us uneducated, poor, and manipulative is uncalled for. We are educated enough to impact an election by educating the public about the constitution and our liberties. We are wealthy enough to get financial backing to accomplish some real goals, such as take on ObamaCare in Ohio, for which we Tea Baggers did with great success. We are also well mannered enough to have a protest without arrest, leave within 8 hours without spreading diseases because we need to go to work and take care of our families, and make a REAL difference in the government. Even though there is more work to be done, at least we Tea Baggers are starting to make a change. Unlike these Occupiers who appear to be more like animals than scholars.

      • hahaha

        hahaha. you said tea baggers. do you know what that is? you should look it up. funny sexual terminology you guys chose to call yourselves.

      • beboo

        Couldn’t have said it better!

  • glenp

    maggot infested types always spread disease and misery THAT’S WHY THERE ARE LAWS about URBAN CAMPING!!!

  • Brooks

    It is not that their message is not being heard, it is that their message is stupid. Go protest in DC or Sacramento if you want to change things. Quit being an eyesore on a beautiful city.

  • WASPy

    OCCUPY = Squat = Human Debris…losers in the game of life…bums, vandals, dopers, thieves, rapists, psychotics and commie rats…Obama’s Base…..BARRY’s BROWNSHIRTS.

    • Koma

      Hello. I’ve added the comment reply eratufe to my blog. However, the issue I’m having is on my other pages that you can create through blogger, when the comment eratufe is set to enable for them and click on “reply” it brings up a “We’re sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.” message.By any chance could you tell me what I am doing wrong? I mean it’s working properly on the main blog page. But doesn’t work properly on the other pages, for example about me, and etc.Any help with this would be highly appreciated. Thank you!!

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  • PRichards

    This “story” is classic COINTELPRO

  • TXM


    One has simply to look at the differences between Tea Partiers and OWS to know who is truly the “least educated, poorest, and completely manipulated group”.

    Are you suggesting I don’t believe my own eyes?

    • ster411

      TXM: Sorry, most of that was to Ray, not you. Apologies for any confusion.

      • Ray

        Idiot, that is me.

    • ster411

      OWS is educated… by public university indoctrination.
      They have excellent degrees in Art, “Women’s Studies”, Dance, and other things there are no jobs for… except to teach.

      So, they teach and make that a requirement. Waste more $ in school and more time learning things we don’t need just so they have jobs.

      How’s that degree working out? Anything you can use?
      Why did you get that one?

      I didn’t want an Accounting degree. I wanted an Astronomy degree. Guess where the jobs are? Yep, Accounting, so I got that. Why did you not get a degree where YOU COULD GET A JOB?

      Oh yeah…. it’s all about what YOU want. Perfect liberal.

      • Exterminate Christians

        I have a CPA / JD from UC… imperfect little bean counter making less than $800,000 per month (or your lifetime). Where do you think their bail money is coming from? I can do this all decade long while the Police are drained of their precious resources…like the military in Iraq.

        Back to the treadmill you little worker rat, earn your meager mortgage money to pay my bank stock dividends so I can buy them more tents and sleeping mats. REI loves me.

        Do you see how messed up this is?

    • jtWallace

      Let’s see now. They’ve got murder, rape, drugs, feces and urine on the street, kids squalling, stench you can smell everywhere, using their kids to keep police from removing unrully mothers. All there for the good times while out of work, or just bored. Now, we learn according to the news one tried to shoot Obama. Crazy buggers aren’t they? But the worst is, they carry lice!

  • pitter43

    What would you expect when two or more liberals get together?

  • Smince

    Sleep with the dogs, wake up with fleas.

  • Is revolution hitting U.S. streets - Page 193

    […] […]

  • BACK PAGE NEWS (open to all to post articles) - Page 540

    […] […]

  • Jerry the mouse

    Don’t insult my dog by associating her with these sub humans!

  • ster411

    Yep, liberals. Disease, fleas, trash and… VIOLENCE. And RACISM.
    This is what they said the Tea Party would be. LOL. This is what THEY ARE.

    And yes, racism… Changed the NY Subway sign to “Avenue Jew”. If the tea party did that, you know it would be on all networks and the libs would be shouting it.

    Funny how the liberals ARE what they say others are.

  • Jerry Frey
  • Greg Gebhardt

    I say let them live down there like animals till they catch something that kills them!

  • Brad

    Ray, you lost all credibility when you said “Tea Bagger”. If you had a brain in your head, you’d realize that what you just spouted off about is directly in line with the Tea Party. Btw…Welcome to the Tea Party.

    • ster411

      LOL. Yep. Obviously, Ray is a sheeple. Just a robot. Does not seek out the real truth, just listens to his masters in the media and what-not and thinks it’s all true.

      Like most libs.

      Ray: When you grow up and think for yourself, you will realize a lot of what you said the TP agrees with. The Koch brothers? LOL. We, in the TP do not care about them. Could not care less. They’re free to do whatever within the law. Just like Soros. They are both bad in many cases.

      Wake up…. OPEN YOUR EYES, RAY… Start thinking for yourself.

  • Midge Morton Masters

    They can’t keep weapons, cell phones and drugs out of prisons and they complain about bugs. —

    • 911essentialsISAJOKE

      Guns? Where. Link it. Cell phones? LOL. Cell phones do not give you diseases.

  • Holly Wilson

    They do seem to be trying to clean things up a bit. According to the Daily Rash, Occupy Wall Street organizers have hired prostitutes in their efforts to deter rapists at demonstration sites.

    • jtWallace

      Holly. They’re so crazy, one of them tried to shoot Obama. But you know what’s worse? They have lice!

      • Chicago Nick

        So crazy that OWS Nut tried to shoot em all when they were on the other side of the planet like the Obama’s are most of the time on our dime.

        That family acts more like the Mega Millions winner than an election winner huh?!

        And they got more problems than lice to worry about in these loon jamborees.
        They should make up some t shirts that say “My same sex parents went to OWS and all I got was this shirt, they got an STD and HIV!!

  • the truth

    So these Lice infested ,STD infected, putrid ,stinky ,smelly fleabaggers are gonna change the world. God help us lol.

  • al Smith

    occupiers!. My word, how bizarre.

  • occupy fools

    Occupy. Hmmm… Don’t these people hate Israel because they Occupy?

    Not the smartest bunch, are they?

  • Joe Mamma

    No story here; parasites are attacking parasites. It’s just the circle of life.

  • nilochsaloob

    biological disease-carrying organisms attracted to society-disease organisms… who would have known?

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