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Politics

Mayor Ed Lee Practices Patience With Occupy SF

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The Occupy San Francisco encampment at Justin Herman Plaza (CBS)

The Occupy San Francisco encampment at Justin Herman Plaza (CBS)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said one of his biggest worries about Occupy SF is that it continues to put a drain on city resources as he tries to get protesters to move out of Justin Herman Plaza.

But so, far Lee said patience has been his strategy in ending the occupation.

“I don’t want tear gas or pepper spray. The only pepper spray I’m going to use is on the Turkey,” he said.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

While Thanksgiving may be the only day that Mayor Lee can use that line, it does illustrate the philosophy that has governed his entire approach to Occupy SF.

He spelled it out as avoiding violent confrontation and talking the occupiers into peacefully allowing the removal of their tents.

Somehow that strategy worked during a DPW cleanup earlier this month and Lee also noted that the tents by the Federal Reserve Bank on Market Street are gone and the numbers are down at the plaza.

“Making the wrong move points a target at both city government and city businesses and that’s wrong too. That’s not good,” Lee said.

That also explains why Lee is allowing other city agencies to explore alternative locations for Occupy SF protesters.

“I’ve avoided using the word ‘leave’ or ‘get out of here’, because they’re very political terms and Occupy SF, like the Occupy Movement is a political movement,” explained the mayor.

Mayor Lee assumed that Occupy SF intends to be around for a while and would rather take the negotiation approach before beating them back with billy clubs.

Meanwhile the public works department is eyeing a school district property in the Mission as one possible option that might solve the mayor’s problem.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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