Occupy SF protesters pitch tents, shut down Market Street after raid

Occupy SF protesters on Sunday continued to defy city orders to stop camping in front of the Federal Reserve Bank — literally taking to the street to air their grievances after tents were removed and people were arrested early in the morning.

Demonstrators set up tents and hunkered down in the middle of Market Street in front of the bank beginning at 4:30 p.m., chanting slogans as police stood by.

“When Occupy is under attack, what do you do? Stand up, fight back!” the crowd of some 200 people shouted.
As of press time, six tents and about 50 people remained at the site.

Early Sunday morning, San Francisco police and Public Works  employees removed 12 tents from in front of the Federal Reserve Bank at 101 Market St. The camp was located two blocks west of the main Occupy SF encampment at Justin Herman Plaza.

Police said six people were arrested for interfering with the action, which took place shortly after 1 a.m. After the campers were removed, police set up barricades to prevent them from returning.

On Sunday afternoon, protesters held a rally near Justin Herman Plaza before marching to the Market Street site, vowing to “retake the Fed.”

At an evening news conference held in the middle of Market Street, a man who identified himself as James, 33, said he was the first person arrested Sunday morning.

“They did not give us any warning,” he said. “They did not even give us a chance to get out of our tents.”

James and others reported that their tents and belongings, including clothing and computers, were put into Public Works trucks and taken away.

Public Works on Thursday had issued a final notice ordering all tents gone from the Market Street site, citing health and safety issues and violations of city codes. Tents in between Justin Herman Plaza and the Federal Reserve Bank were removed earlier in the week.

Supervisor David Campos, speaking at the Market Street news conference Sunday, asked Mayor Ed Lee not to order any further police action against Occupy SF.

“I am here to ask the rest of the city government to dialogue with the Occupy movement so that San Francisco can be a model for the rest of the country,” Campos said.

Campos was accompanied by Supervisor Eric Mar and state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, along with labor leaders. Daniel Ellsberg, known for leaking the Pentagon Papers to newspapers in 1971, spoke to the crowd as well.

acrawford@sfexaminer.com

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