Related: Mayor Lee Releases Statement On Early Morning Occupy SF Raid (Slideshow, Video)
Early Wednesday Raid On Occupy SF Draws Mixed Reactions
DPW Tells Occupy SF Where They Can Pick Up Their Stuff (Except Tents)
Occupy SF Demonstrators Try To Retake Justin Herman Plaza
Susie Cagle’s SF: Occupy SF Raided
In a statement sent to media, Occupy SF, which had its Justin Herman Plaza encampment shut down by SFPD early Wednesday morning, has some harsh words for SF mayor Ed Lee and the decision to raid.
In the statement, Occupy SF says “Contrary to the statements made to the press by the mayor and chief of police, repeated contacts had been made in the several days leading up to the raid by a variety of members of OccupySF.”
Early this morning, SFPD Chief Greg Suhr told reporters that “negotiations broke down in that there were no emails going back and forth any more with Director Nuru from DPW, who took the lead on this collaboration, and what with the unprovoked attacks on officers last Thursday, the situation appeared to be deteriorating inside the camp and outside the camp.”
In a statement released by Lee’s office this morning, he said “The City made a site available to the group, but unfortunately, communication with the liaison team designated by Occupy SF deteriorated to a point where it was clear that no progress could be made.”
However, Occupy SF says that “On Monday morning, seven members of OccupySF met with Mohammed Nuru, the city’s primary liaison, to express concerns regarding the Mission offer. OccupySF asked for more time to investigate the site and reach out to the Mission residents who had expressed reservations about the city’s proposed move.”
“Despite these ongoing efforts, hundreds of officers in full riot gear tore down the main OccupySF occupation early this morning after giving a mere five-minute warning.”
Suhr certainly doesn’t dispute the “five-minute warning” characterization — this morning, he told reporters that occupiers had “5 or 10 minutes” to leave, and that “about half the camp” left immediately. Those remaining were arrested.
All in all, about 70 people were arrested in this morning’s raid, 30 for not leaving the camp after the warning, and 40 more during a subsequent protest on Market Street.
Two were booked into jail on suspicion of felony assault on a police officer, and the rest were cited for illegal camping in the park after hours, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.
According to Occupy SF, then “the belongings of hundreds of people” were destroyed “by tossing them into a compactor garbage truck.”
The Department of Public Works says, however, that they allowing those whose belongings were confiscated to pick up the items–except for tents–the Department of Public Works Operations Yard at 2323 Cesar Chavez, (they say to enter on Kansas Street), from 1 pm to 5 pm today, or from 8 AM to 3 PM on weekdays after that.
At publication time, Occupy SF demonstrators are rallying downtown. Another demonstration is planned for Justin Herman Plaza at 6 PM this evening, according to Occupy SF.