Occupy SF protesters brace for post-election crackdown

Occupy SF protesters expect the other shoe to drop now that the mayoral election is over. (Examiner file photo)Occupy SF protesters expect the other shoe to drop now that the mayoral election is over. (Examiner file photo)

Now that the election is over, Occupy San Francisco protesters will be sleeping with one eye open to look out for the nighttime police raid that many fear is imminent.

Law enforcement may have tiptoed around the camp in the days leading up to the end of the mayoral campaign, protesters agreed Wednesday, but now that incumbent Ed Lee is headed toward a full term, The City is more likely to move against their camp at Justin Herman Plaza.

“There’s a lot of us worried about it,” said Andrew Carrigan, 20. “I’m worried about it.”

Carrigan, who joined the protest about two weeks ago over mounting frustration that his two jobs weren’t enough to make ends meet, said he expected the other shoe to drop within the next 10 days.

He was among the protesters who believed that the camp’s fate might have been different if Supervisor John Avalos, who has been supportive of Occupy SF, had pulled off an upset win in the mayoral race. But many others, including a man who identified himself as Two Horses, had already given up hope on a victory for Avalos, who trailed Lee Wednesday morning and ultimately came in second.

Two Horses said he didn’t think Lee’s victory would trigger a raid on the camp. “Not immediately; not Oakland-style,” he said.

San Francisco police spokesman Sgt. Daryl Fong said he was not aware of any plans to raid the camp. Health inspectors have also been keeping an eye on the protesters, making visits at least twice a day to inspect areas where food is being served, said Two Horses, who works in the camp’s kitchen. Kitchen workers have been diligent in promptly addressing problems pointed out by inspectors, he said.  

Regardless of whether police say they will take action, some protesters say bring it on.

“We’ll just come back stronger than ever,” said Chris Reynolds-Hawkins, a discouraged college graduate who joined the protest about a month ago.

“The camp gets stronger and the bonds that bind us get tighter,” he said. “Whatever happens, we’ll be ready for it.”

sgantz@sfexaminer.com

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