Protesters Attempt To Retake Plaza After Occupy SF Raid

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – After circling Justin Herman Plaza and attempting to retake the site of the encampment that was raided in the early morning, “Occupy SF” protesters marched back to the Federal Reserve building and blocked Market Street Wednesday afternoon.

Police blocked protesters from re-entering the site of the former encampment at the plaza Wednesday afternoon, scrambling to keep up with them as they tried to enter the site from various angles.

About 40 protesters marched back to the Federal Reserve building at 101 Market Street around 2 p.m. The number of protesters appeared to have dwindled since about 70 demonstrators gathered outside the building for a noon rally.

PHOTOS: Occupy SF Attempts To Retake Plaza

Traffic on Market Street has been blocked by the ongoing demonstration. Police were standing by near the intersection of Market and Drumm streets.

Police raided the Occupy SF encampment shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday, confiscating tents and other items and arresting about 70 people.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose and Holly Quan Report:

San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr held a media briefing around 4:30 a.m. after police in riot gear dismantled the camp that has been erected on the plaza since October.

Two of those arrested were facing aggravated assault charges for allegedly throwing a chair at an officer, resulting in a minor injury to the officer.

Later Wednesday morning Suhr told another group of reporters there were three groups of protesters arrested, with most arrests for blocking Market Street at various times after police arrived.

“This area was declared a public health hazard,” he told reporters. “It needs to be rehabilitated” now that the tents have been cleared.

Police in riot gear dismantle the Occupy SF encampment at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, December 7, 2011. (CBS)

Police in riot gear dismantle the Occupy SF encampment at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, December 7, 2011. (CBS)

Protesters were told to clear the plaza around 2 a.m. Department of Public Works crews have been clearing and cleaning the site since the police raid.

”The mayor has been really thoughtfully and patiently negotiating with the Occupy leadership,” said Suhr. “As of about yesterday, Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, who has been the point person for the day to day contact was getting no returned emails. Department heads went over and looked at the site in the Mission, but it appeared that all communications had broken off. After the aggressive attack on the officers and other city workers last Thursday, it appeared that the group had deteriorated. It had not only become a health hazard inside, but it was becoming a public safety hazard to the outside.”

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Comments:

Mayor Ed Lee released a statement Wednesday morning saying, “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.”

Lee said the city “took a measured and balanced approach and negotiated with Occupy leadership in good faith … but unfortunately, communication with the liaison team designated by Occupy SF deteriorated to a point where it was clear no progress could be made.”

Lee said, “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.”

About 100 tents were taken down. Police officer Albie Esparza says the removal was mostly peaceful but one officer suffered a minor injury when two protesters threw a chair that cracked his face shield. They were arrested on suspicion of felony assault. Dozens of others were arrested for illegal lodging in the plaza and failure to disperse.

Chris Nable, who was sited Wednesday morning for refusing to leave the encampment, said that all he wanted to do was get his new guitar and leave the area.

“They said everything was thrown in the back of the trash truck and crushed,” said Nable. “So my guitar, and that nice bike, the one blanket I was able to grab and the clothes I had in my backpack are all gone.”

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

The plaza was occupied in mid-October by campers protesting against bank bailouts and economic injustice.

The overnight police raid drew a mixed reaction from protesters and passersby Wednesday morning.

David Ritchie, who had been at the camp for a little over two weeks, said he was one of those arrested. Ritchie said he was taken to the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. before being released.

“It’s so disheartening,” he said. “People were being treated like animals.”

Ritchie said some protesters were beaten with police batons, and others had their belongings taken away in a garbage truck.

But Stanley Martin, another protester who said he had been at the encampment for about six weeks, said the Occupy SF movement has itself to blame.

“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 said.

However, protesters could not come to a consensus on whether to relocate.

“If we had taken that, we would’ve beaten City Hall,” Martin said.

Others walking by the plaza Wednesday morning had varying opinions on the raid.

“I’m shocked that it’s empty,” said John Bautista, who was on his way to work. “I know they’re trying to stand up for the 99 percent, and I’m glad they were trying to finally bring the issue into light, so I’m sad to see that they’re gone,” he said.

Jim Bradley, a retiree who was on his way to meet a friend, said he agreed with the spirit of the protests but said, “I think it’s gone on long enough.”

Bradley said, “I don’t think they were going about it the right way.”

Mayor Lee’s said in his statement, “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.”

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

  • Tours Martel

    Change the world? They mostly need to change their diapers.

    • Bill Jensen

      If you have nothing intellegent to say nor a thoughtful contribution to make, maybe your time could be better used doing something positive for your community! “change their diapers” might seem funny or cute but is really as shallow as saying they just need a job…most of us -the 99% have jobs that make profit for the 1%, yet their greed has contributed to our current state….funny?

      • drm

        while this might be true, the “movement” is not changing anything. corporations still rule the roost and that won’t be changing anytime soon, if ever. it’s time for these people to go away and stop hurting those of us who are in the 99%, which is what they’ve been doing by affecting our daily lives with their protests and blocking traffic.

      • BM

        Oh yes, none of the 99% are GREEDY!
        When you are going to DEMAND Obama to stop taking money from Wall Street and special interest groups for his 2012 re-election ? Obama is shooting for $1 Billion in contribution, now that is what I call greed!
        King Obama can do no wrong!

  • Bill Buxton

    Hot Nuuz – Occupy San Francisco dismantled –

  • Adam Johnson

    Unbelieveable, CBS. There were protestors that were severely hurt, and all you care about is the cops’ perspective. As usual, you corporate puppets present this news in “double speak”. And the glittery, cheery medical ads before and after the segment? An extra slap in the face to these incredible people who are standing up for OUR rights, including a balanced economy and free medical care.

    • PeepsRepublikOfKalifornia

      You twit! Medical care is not a right. A balanced economy What the heck is that? You take money from my pocket and put it in your own?

      You have a right to equal opportunity, not equal results. You have the right to succeed or fail on equal footing with your fellow man. You have no right to take what your neighbor earns and put even one red cent into your own pocket.

      Your incentive in life is that if you don’t work, you starve to death. If you select an education that does not get you a job that will buy your food and shelter, you made a mistake. Your mistake, not mine, and you “failure” to make it work or try something else does not obligate me to take money from my family and support you! Suck it up! There are people in society who truly need help. That is why we have charities. . .not the job of government. Regardless, you are not one of those in need, you are just a freeloader, a user, unwilling to take responsibility.

      Do you really need government to care for you because you cannot figure out how to make it work on your own? Well, here is advise as to what to do to help society, go take a long walk on a short pier.

    • just go away

      oh please. these people could care less about what they’re “protesting”. they ruined the entire movement and i know of not one person who wants them to stay. they are affecting the lives of the 99% at this point, not in a good way. on more than one occasion, they’ve made it almost impossible for me to get home from work… to the point where i had to pay for a taxi to get home. that’s money out of my pocket that i work hard for. they don’t care who they’re hurting. they certainly are not hurting the 1%. i walked past the encampment and do you know what they were doing? smoking weed. yeah that’s productive. maybe if they spent less time f’ing around, smoking weed and cleaned themselves up, they’d have a decent shot at getting a job. as far as i can see, they aren’t even trying. they just want to complain about the fact that there are people in this country who have more money than they do. i am so over this whole “movement”. it hasn’t changed anything and it never will.

  • Ann Mason

    Although I supported the protesters at first, the more recent events are damaging their credibility. This can damage the credibility of the whole movement. On top of that, the public nuisance aspect of it is morally wrong. When we promote causes, we have to consider how others are affected. It’s time for the protests to reach closure, while the cause should remain relevant.

  • Rick Davis

    This civil disobedience is “….as American as apple pie”  Colin Powell.

    Occupy seems to have started a long overdue national conversation. It has made many thinking citizens (none here obviously) look more critically at the sad shape of the democracy and the near total failure of all three branches of government to ever act in the public interest.   No sane citizen can blame this on anything other than the corrupt and controlling influence of the modern multinational financial and centralized banking, oil and defense corporations who own our media, our lawmakers and ultimately our children to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson. Their “interests,” deregulation, free trade, perpetual war, free access to your retirement account and rapidly escalating limits on freedom of speech, privacy and civil rights cause great human and planetary suffering.   Protestors risk everything in this largely manufactured “War on Terror” environment.  They are true patriots,  the rapidly expanding and angry homeless and impoverished are Americans too and don’t deserve our demonization. Go back to your Dancing With The Stars ignorance if you must. Otherwise,  when they’ve taken your job,  your healthcare and your home and you have the free time to fact check towards some truth….. Occupy Something.  Create some liberating discomfort for the others because we are the 99%. and they are obviously very afraid.  

    They call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.  George Carlin.

    • PeepsRepublikOfKalifornia

      Trouble is Rick, the very group that your ilk most criticizes, is the very one who most succinctly articulated the the very points you make here. That is the TEA party.

      I must add though, that the occupy crowd would be asked to clean up their language, stop the anti-Semitic Jew bashing, put away the drugs, defecate and urinate in rest rooms rather than in the street or on Police cars, and pick up their own trash before they would be invited to participate with the TEA Partiers to protest the over-reachng of confiscatory government..

      • Rick Davis

        Agree completely, Tea Party was first on-scene with taxpayer bailout anger despite limited information at the time. Well said. Denninger, one of Tea Party organizers said as much about the pre-FreedomWorks tea party on RT. Google Denninger and RT news, don’t have link right now. I think the massive Ohio and Wisconsin protests were the next manifestation of growing civil unrest, social symptoms of justified anger. Also agree the “occupy crowd” is easy to dismiss for bad public behavior but I think this misses the point. I see the encampments as valid and important political theater which is messy but still healthy democracy. Completely the opposite of the secret Fed bailout of the US and European banks for instance. Isn’t it clear the Tea Party got co-opted right from the start ? Don’t most Tea Partiers have buyers remorse over the Scott, Kasich, Brown, “it was really union firefighters and teachers that destroyed $11 trillion of America’s wealth” fiasco ? So yes, OSF spoils the nice ambiance of this beautiful space recently renamed Bradley Manning Plaza but I see it as absolutely necessary.

        That comment about anti-semitism came from one idiot in Zucotti Park. Bill O’Really played the clip 14 x/day on Fox. Thanx so much for engaging in cogent public discussion.

        This just in: Libya recognizes OccupyWallStreet as new US government ! We report, you decide.

      • PeepsRepublikOfKalifornia

        Well, in my conservative book, a liberal Republican is better than a progressive Democrat. Brown wasn’t the ideal, but better, slightly, than the alternative.

      • PeepsRepublikOfKalifornia

        Though she, Patricia MacCallister, claimed not to be “one of” the Occupy crowd, she claimed agreement and later joined in.

        Hey,out of the ten of thousands of TEA party participants across the country, there were legions looking for “racist” signs in every event. Claims of intentional exclusion of Blacks, but no such analysis of the Occupier crowds. Certainly we will look for people to point fingers at. There is less evidence found on which to call the TEA Party racist than to call the Occupy participants anti-Semitic. . .and neither is valid.

  • Cujo

    I live in a studio apartment with wife and kid and I will get that American Dream soon. I make $35,000, household income, no handouts, no college degrees. GET A LIFE DIRTY SPOILED HIPPIE KIDS!

  • Flea

    Still in the news this FLEA PARTY.
    Flea Baggers.

  • Swaggin 19yr old black Republican

    Dem fools is wack yo.

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  • Marie Freeman

    Hate and denial, things will never change with such close minded uninformed ignorance. Shame on anyone that would not support the needed change for the globe, corporate greed is eating away at the world and humanity, perhaps some of you should grow up, and open your minds.

    • PeepsRepublikOfKalifornia

      Yes you should! If you had the capacity to actually analyze the situation you would understand the the problems you are protesting are being caused by the power grab of, not corporations, but the socialist ideologues in the EU and in the Obama administration.

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