Tension mounts at Occupy SF after deadline passes

The tents at Occupy SF remained in place at Justin Herman Plaza on Thursday despite a noon deadline given to the protesters to remove the encampment.

The City issued the deadline to the protesters Wednesday, saying they had until noon to remove the tents from the plaza that sits across the street from the Ferry Building in downtown San Francisco.

The noon deadline came and went without police or city workers moving in to clear anything out of the encampment.

City workers did move into the encampment to water trees in the encampment, and Occupy SF protesters did voluntarily move some tents temporarily to accommodate the work.

Mayoral spokeswoman Christine Falvey said Mayor Ed Lee and The City did not have a deadline that they were going to enforce for clearing out the encampment.

“The mayor is going to be patient with the group,” Falvey said.

San Francisco had offered the Occupy SF protesters an alternate site near 16th and Mission streets to locate their encampment. The protesters declined that offer.

Falvey said the mayor “hopes for a unified decision very soon and a peaceful resolution” and is “waiting to hear back from the group.”

Tensions grew at the encampment Thursday evening after police set up barricades around the encampment. The metal barricades were pushed back and forth between police and protesters during a brief scuffle, during which one protester was reportedly injured.

The Occupy SF protest outside of the Federal Reserve on Market Street was also the site of a brief clash between police and protesters over barricades there.  The protesters moved the barricades into Market Street to block traffic and then held a meeting in the roadway.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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