OSF Attempts to take back 101 Market After SFPD Raid
In response to the SFPD’s surprise midnight raid in which an estimated 40+ people were arrested, a small group of Occupy San Francisco protesters attempted to re-occupy 101 Market on Thursday night.
Though the turn out for the night’s action was small, those who did show up were passionate about taking their home back from the police who, with the help of the public works department, had fenced up the area where the protesters had set up their camp.
When I arrived, I went straight to the fence to take some pictures. Once there, I said hello to a person who was walking towards me. As soon as I spoke, the person pushed passed me and began to shake the fence while yelling for back up. Within seconds two more protesters joined in and attempted to deconstruct the 6-foot tall barrier, before being chased back across the street by police.
The small group of resisters then began yelling and throwing empty water jugs & bottles at the less-than-lethal shotgun wielding cops standing guard outside the “federal” reserve. Moments later, dozens of officers in riot gear began to amass in the area.
The protesters spontaneously developed a new tactic (at least for this group) that seemed to have the police confused and on edge. Protesters split up into multiple groups (some just 2 people), surrounding their target. Yelling could be heard in all directions, so the police did not know where to start. At one point, a line of riot police marched in a military formation, right through the entrance of a bougie hotel.
Ultimately only one arrest occurred, because a man sat down on the sidewalk. According to @Chilipickle, police cited the ‘sit/lie’ law, a voter approved law which makes it an arrestable offence to sit or lay down on a public sidewalk between the hours of 7am and 11pm.
A couple of other people were detained and at least one ticket was issued. A man was detained by three officers for nearly 20 minutes because he tossed his cigarette on to the street. Apparently the police were ordered to enforce every rule in the book, at least just for this night, and just for these people. Another protester was issued a ticket for riding his bike on the sidewalk, though moments after the ticket was issued, a non-protester almost ran into me while riding his bike on the same sidewalk, in front of the same cops. He was not issued a ticket, nor was there an attempt to stop the law breaking cyclist.
Though the re-occupation was not successful this night, due to the extremely low turn out, a more organized effort is sure to show up on social media soon.