* 85 Arrested as Protestors Started to Retake Former Encampments in San Francisco
Published by Staff Reporter on December 7, 2011
A few dozen protesters were still milling around on the sidewalk outside the Federal Reserve building in San Francisco late this afternoon after blocking Market Street and trying to retake the site of their former encampment at Justin Herman Plaza earlier today. Around 70 protesters gathered in front of the Federal Reserve building at 101 Market St. at noon to speak out against the police raid of the Occupy SF encampment at the plaza early this morning.
Police moved in to the camp shortly after 1 a.m., dismantling tents, confiscating property and making arrests. Police reported around 70 arrests this morning but updated that number to 85 this afternoon. This afternoon, dozens of protesters blocked Market Street then marched to the plaza, where they tried to re-enter the site of the former encampment. Police dressed in riot gear blocked them, and a dwindling group of protesters then returned to Market Street, where they blocked lanes and ate pizza.
As of 4 p.m. the protesters had moved back onto the sidewalk and about 40 of them were milling about. Police arrested at least two people — a man and a woman. The woman was taken away by ambulance for unexplained reasons after briefly being placed in the back of a police van. Another rally is planned for 6 p.m. today at Justin Herman Plaza. Mayor Ed Lee released a statement this 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.
The charges for the 85 people arrested this morning include violations of the park code and throwing bottles at officers. Two people were arrested on suspicion of assaulting officers with a deadly weapon, police spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi said. Manfredi said one protester hit an officer with a metal chair, breaking the visor off the officer’s helmet. Another officer was hit with a garbage can. Neither officer’s injuries are life-threatening. The arrests were made at three different locations and times during the police raid. Thirty-eight people were arrested at Justin Hermann Plaza; another 25 were arrested at Market and Steuart streets; and 22 more were arrested at 1 Market St., Manfredi said.
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