Related: Updates From Occupy SF
Updated to correct attribution of quotes
Five members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and other city and state officials were at a protest early this morning in support of the “Occupy SF” movement, as demonstrators anticipated police activity sometime this morning at the San Francisco plaza.
An online livestream of the encampment showed Supervisors Jane Kim and John Avalos, Eric Mar, David Campos and David Chiu and state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, addressing the crowds at Justin Herman Plaza along the Embarcadero around 1:30 a.m.
Media outlets reported as many as 1,000 people were along the plaza this morning.
Supervisor Kim said, “We want to thank you for coming in such great numbers tonight.”
All speakers addressed the Occupy SF crowds through a human microphone, with the crowd repeating the words of the speaker to ensure all throughout the Embarcadero could hear.
Twitter users have dubbed the speaking system as the “People’s Microphone.”
Kim said the five supervisors were at the camp “because we strongly believe in the first amendment rights of everyone here.”
She added, “We feel confident that we can work with you to develop a protocol that balances our first amendment rights and public health concerns.”
According to law enforcement the protest site is in violation of the law for the use of propane tanks and open flames, public urination and defecation, and overnight camping.
A protester at the camp, who only gave his first name, Ryan, said Wednesday afternoon he and others camping on the plaza expected police to arrive sometime this morning.
Supervisors Mar, Chiu, and Campos spoke about keeping the protests peaceful and encouraged Mayor Ed Lee to visit the encampment before police enforcement.
“Tonight we ask Mayor Ed Lee that before there is a crackdown by the police that he come out here and see for himself what’s happening here,”
Mar Campos said. “Because the reality is that this plaza is safer than many places in the city.” Mar Chiu spoke about police enforcement at Occupy Oakland events this week and said he believes San Francisco does not need a violent confrontation.
“My colleagues and I are also here because we don’t want what happened in Oakland to happen here tonight.”
More than 100 Occupy Oakland protesters were arrested after police dismantled a camp at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland Tuesday morning. Riots and marches throughout the streets have continued since the raid.
Authorities in Oakland deployed tear gas and other less-than-lethal munitions to disperse crowds that formed Tuesday evening.
State Sen. Yee, who is running for mayor of San Francisco, said before the crowd, “All of us in San Francisco and in the Bay Area ought to be here right now. Because we are all the 99 percent. We are all in this situation together.”
Someone who appeared to be a protester in the crowd told the supervisors, “I ask the board to commit to stop serving the 1 percent.”
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News