City says Occupy camp at Federal Reserve must remove tents by Thursday evening

On the heels of more than 100 protesters being arrested inside a Bank of America branch, the encampment at Federal Reserve must remove tents by Thursday evening, according to the Department of Public Works.

Mohammed Nuru, head of the Department of Public Works, said Wednesday that he’d met with campers in front of the Federal Reserve building, at 101 Market Street, and asked them to move their tents. Protesters can remain there during the day, but they cannot have tents.

“I’ve given this warning before,” he said. “We don’t want to remove their First Amendment rights to be there, they’re free to do that, but they cannot have tents there.”

Nuru said campers have until 4 p.m. Thursday to move the tents to the main encampment two blocks away at Justin Herman Plaza.

A similar raid happened at 1 a.m. Wednesday by the San Francisco Police Department in order to remove tents in front of 1 Market Street — the block between the Federal Reserve and Justin Herman Plaza. Seven people were arrested in the raid.

If campers do not comply, Nuru said, he will decide whether to post a final warning before having public works come in and remove the tents.

Nuru acknowledged he was trying to work with the campers.

“They’re trying to cooperate,” he said. “We’ll see how much we get.”

Protesters set up camp outside the Federal Reserve on Sept. 17 as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement that began the same day in New York City.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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