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10:43 PM: According to BART, trains are not stopping at the Embarcadero station due to a civil disturbance. Though the transit agency did not offer details, according to reports “maybe 1000” people are gathered at Justin Herman plaza, as demonstrators with Occupy SF movement braced for a police raid expected between 11 PM and midnight tonight, after receiving a warning from police that the camp near the Ferry Building continues to violate local laws.
Officials including Supervisors David Chiu, Jane Kim, Eric Mar, John Avalos, David Campos, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, and Senator Leland Yee have joined the demonstrators prepared for a reported “50-75 police vans, unmarked & normal cars…2 muni buses” to descend on the crowd.
They’re expected to be joined by demonstrators from Occupy Oakland, who are reportedly heading across the Bay to join “Occupy SF” protesters who are rallying in the face of a possible eviction by police tonight.
Ryan, a media representative for the camp identified only by his first name, said that the group is expecting police to descend on the camp at Justin Herman Plaza at either midnight or 3 a.m.
“A lot of people are already walking around with gas masks and goggles,” he said, noting that they were taking additional unspecified precautions.
The group plans to hold its ground at the site, which according to law enforcement is in violation of the law for the use of propane tanks and open flames, public urination and defecation, and overnight camping.
As long as police do not remove all people occupying the public space, the group plans to stay at the park, Ryan said. Otherwise, Occupy SF members plan to regroup Thursday afternoon in front of the Federal Reserve building and Civic Center.
A notice outlining the violations was handed out to protesters on Tuesday. Police had issued a similar notice to the occupiers on Oct. 11 before raiding the group’s initial encampment at the Federal Reserve on Oct. 16. Five people were arrested in that raid.
11:13 PM: According to Appeal staffer Chris Roberts, there are “easily 1000” demonstrators at Justin Herman Plaza, which “Feels kind of festive” Roberts says.
“No cops in sight” Roberts says.
11:19 PM: Roberts describes the crowd as diverse, saying hes seeing (broad generalizations, I know!) street folk, Haight street kids, Mission types, and 60s throwbacks mixed with civilians like a “dude who came straight from the gym” and kids from the East Bay who will “stay until BART closes.” “Lots of rubberneckers and gawkers, too.”
He says there are a couple of cops on the periphery of the area, but not many to be seen beyond that. “Lots of surgical masks” he says, presumably to guard against and smoke or tear gas that might be deployed by officers.
11:28 PM: Roberts just spoke with Eric Mar, who says that “he asked Ed Lee point blank if there would be a raid.”
According to Mar, “Lee hemmed and hawed but didn’t deny it. Mar thinks something’s going to happen tonight.”
11:33 PM: Reporting from the “campground” area, Roberts says “buckets of pee and poop — Lee’s justification for the raids — all gone, looks like campers are trying to keep it clean.
He says that “little picket American flags from Wal Mart” are being handed out, and that there are a lot of pot smokers in the crowd — “I was offered a hot within 30 seconds of being here, shit you not.”
“Some people here” says Roberts “are definitely on dates.”
12:03 PM: SFPD appears to be preparing to greet the demonstration, with photos posted to Instagram of Muni buses packed with police officers in the Potrero Hill area.
“Word has spread re cops on their way” Roberts reports. “Drums have stopped.”
12:12 PM: Demonstrators are organizing blockade lines, Roberts reports. Another line of people are organizing to protect the medical tent, he says.
Demonstrators are “in full on prep, writing the National Lawyers Guild number on their arms, getting into lines, and putting on masks.”
1:04 AM: Despite reports and photos of masses of police officers readying to mobilize on Justin Herman Plaza, they have yet to arrive.
According to Roberts, the atmosphere at the demonstration is “Kind of muted, everybody waiting for something to happen. Many rumors: cops assembling on Treasure Island, cops waiting for morning, etc.”
1:11 AM: More questions about where the police are: Roberts says “the two cops that were standing, watching are both gone, ominous?”
1:29 AM: In an impromptu news conference, Supervisor David Campos blasted the use of police resources to crack down on Occupy SF. “The reality is that this is one pof the safest places in this city” he said to reporters.
According to Supervisor Avalos, attempts by members of the Board of Supes to speak with the mayor regarding the crackdown were rebuffed.
1:58 AM: According to Roberts, “Top city politician — he said off the record, so ok — says sfpd will wait until morning to break up #occupysf”
2:09 PM: Though photos of SFPD assembling to confront protesters were posted two hours ago, they have yet to arrive at Justin Herman Plaza.
Some are speculating that police are waiting until media and the Supes leave to move in, but that obviously hasn’t been confirmed.
2:32 AM: According to Chris Roberts and reports on twitter, a “convoy of police vehicles is coming over the Bay Bridge,” and “drums stop, everyone is freaked out.” People are, he says, “forming lines.”
2:52 AM: However, the police still have not made an appearance in Justin Herman Plaza. According to reports, “there’s a lot of paranoia,” and not knowing what the police are up to, or where they are, only seems to be making it worse.
3:06 AM: Supervisor Avalos, reports Roberts, is sleeping in his car. Crowd is down to, Roberts reports, a few hundred. Police are reportedly idling in Dogpatch , though police have reportedly blocked efforts to track their movements. So far, however, no action has been made on the Occupy SF demonstration.