In this Oct. 26

Occupy SF gains support from San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Leave Occupy SF alone, is the message being sent from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to Mayor Ed Lee and the San Francisco Police Department.

The supervisors are poised to approve a resolution Tuesday that calls for “no use of force to dislodge the Occupy SF demonstrators and confiscate their belongings.” In other words, the occupants should be allowed to carry on living in the public space.

The resolution increases the pressure on Lee to decide whether to have police raid the Justin Herman Plaza site where participants of the movement have set up tents or work with them and let it continue with oversight from city departments. Last week it was thought the police were going to raid Occupy SF but then called it off amid political pressure.

The vote on the resolution comes one week after a police raid of a similar demonstration in Oakland erupted in violence as cops used tear gas and bean bag rounds to disperse the protestors. The handling of the rally in Oakland has turned into a police nightmare for Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

The resolution, introduced by Supervisor John Avalos, draws a line in the sand on howSan Francisco should handle the Occupy SF participants. The board’s vote comes a week before the mayoral election. 

Occupy SF is one of the numerous rallies that were launched in solidarity with the New York Occupy Wall Street event that sparked the nationwide movement that is taking aim at the inequality of wealth in the country.

The resolution could influence how other cities treat such occupying efforts. 

“We have to a figure out as a city how we’re going to accommodate and work with and cooperate with this movement,” Avalos said. He also said that the “police department moving with force against the occupation would be something very harmful to our image of San Francisco.”

Lee’s spokeswoman Christine Falvey said Lee is in ongoing conversations with representatives of the movement. He agreed to limited police presence in the area as talks continue and the occupants allowed Department of Public Works to come in and clean the space. Falvey said Lee remains concerned about public safety issues and the long-term impact of allowing these participants to remain at the site. Lee is scheduled to meet with occupant point people again Tuesday.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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