Less than twenty-four hours after having their camp cleared by San Francisco police, Occupy San Francisco held their ground at Justin Herman Plaza. The occupiers that aimed to regroup and even retake the plaza were surrounded Wednesday evening by at least seventy cops in riot gear. A General Assembly meeting was kettled.
Police targeted some individuals who were standing on the sidewalk. They also arrested a handful of people that tried to put up a tent. And they injured an occupier when they were arresting him.
According to Silver Underground, around 6:30 pm the General Assembly was interrupted by police orders to disperse. Police gave occupiers five minutes to leave or face arrest. Riot cops surrounded about “three dozen occupiers” that stood their ground.
Chris Jones was near the police perimeter holding a sign that read, ‘Warning! Beware! Bill 1867=George Orwell’s 1984′ a reference to the National Defense Authorization Act.” Silver Underground adds, “After being pushed away multiple times one cop told him he could sit there, then another grabbed him from behind, dragged him down some steps with another Occup[ier] and roughed both of them up.”
Jones “lay flat, face down, visibly writhing in pain for 30 minutes. Protesters called for medical assistance but police turned the ambulance away. There was even a registered nurse on site, but police would not allow her near him. Finally the San Francisco Fire Department pushed into the Plaza and took him away on a gurney. Now he’s at San Francisco General Hospital receiving medical attention.”
One hour later, police retreated. Some headed into a Taco Bell. It is unclear why police let them stay. Occupy SF was able to setup a few tents and celebrate a victory. By midnight, though, they took some tents down voluntarily, something police acknowledged. Many occupiers chose to not hold the plaza tonight and went home to get a good night’s rest.
It would be minimizing to characterize police treatment of Occupy San Francisco as heavy-handed. The photos show what can only be described as a paramilitary-like buildup of force around less than a hundred occupiers. On the sidewalk, there were hundreds more watching this spectacle. And police were not about to hesitate to use force; in fact, one superior officer ordered, “If they do not do what you tell them, strike them.” [Video here.]
In other Occupy news, there were 23 arrests at Occupy Sacramento in Cesar Chavez Park during a “First Amendment Party.” Five occupiers were arrested at Occupy Dayton after breaking camp on Tuesday. And Occupy Bethlehem in Pennsylvania was cleared out by police just after midnight.
Of note this morning is Occupy Boston filing an appeal against a judge’s decision to deny the occupation a motion for a preliminary injunction, police activity at the home in Brooklyn that Occupy Wall Street reclaimed and is helping a family occupy, Occupy SF and the Occupy Amsterdam eviction (remember, this is an international movement, which is why I do not call this the Occupy USA blog).
OCCUPY BOSTON [*Final GA before midnight deadline to leave Dewey Square.]
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11:18 PM Legal observers take a group photo (via @caulkthewagon)
11:12 PM 45 minutes til midnight deadline for Occupy Boston. Some occupiers are voluntarily taking down tents. This has been happening all day. Park is being cleaned too with trash being put in dump truck
9:36 PM A rundown of Occupy Boston’s final GA before eviction: Safety working group proposes clearing the square and having a dance party…Info tent will be open til 10 pm with information from ACLU on “rights as arrestees”…Plan to meet at 8 am after eviction for some kind of action…Members of many faiths are there showing solidarity…NLG lawyer says even if an appeal had been filed today it would not have prevented a raid (no appeal was filed)…Negotiations with city attorneys failed to convince them to give Occupy Boston more time…Occupy Boston library is preparing for next phase of the occupation…Occupy Harvard present…Occupiers told not to have a knife or blade because if committing civil disobedience you could be charged with a felony…
Reasoning behind possible dance party: dancing shows the police’s only power is they have weapons. We have creativity. Let’s not give them the fight they’re looking for…Judge said we cause violence. Dancing demonstrates a lot of nonviolence…Working on establishing consensus around cleaning all of the area before eviction…
9:28 PM Occupy Austin informs me in a march on Chase Bank one occupier was arrested. There were about 50 people in the march. It was peaceful. The arrest appears to have happened as the occupier tried to do crowd control. Police swept the occupier up.
8:52 PM Arrests at Occupy Amsterdam earlier after being ordered to clear out.
7:57 PM Occupiers roll out “human red carpet” at Chamber of Commerce Party
7:21 PM One of the best Twitter notifications you will ever read in your inbox: “Tent Monster (@tentmonster) is no following you on Twitter!” As I tweeted, I hope someone in the Occupy movement pays homage to ’50s drive-in movies and makes a video featuring the Tent Monster.
7:05 PM Former Philly police captain Ray Lewis is warned by the police and his union to not protest in his police uniform. Lewis demonstrated with Occupy Wall Street days after the camp was evicted in November.
7:04 PM The scene at Occupy Boston (via @TheOther99):
6:48 PM Jason Leopold suggests citizens “Occupy the Police State”
6:40 PM Occupy Boston handed “trespassing notices”
6:39 PM The impending eviction of Occupy Boston – sort of a farewell from me on Occupy Boston but I know the occupation is going nowhere. They may be moved out of Dewey Square but the “occupation” of Boston will press on.
4:54 PM Today, Mayor Bloomberg called Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s call for a DoJ probe into NYPD abuse of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators and the press covering OWS “ridiculous.” Rep. Nadler had a response for Bloomberg, which appears below:
Perhaps the Mayor should review his own past comments lauding my success in securing needed federal funds for our city – from the $20 billion post-9/11 monies to the Zadroga Act to critical transportation funding – before spewing nonsense and so wildly contradicting himself. He should also have a heart-to-heart chat with the many congressional Republicans who he has actively supported, to urge them to stop starving the programs critical to our cities and to desist from further destroying the economy for the middle class. As the Mayor should well know, it is precisely my job – as the ranking member on the House Judiciary’s Constitution Subcommittee – to ensure that the constitutional rights of all Americans are respected, and it is precisely the job of the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure that alleged violations of those rights are investigated, and that federal civil rights laws are vigorously enforced. It is the Mayor’s job, I might point out, to ensure that the police department, under his command, obeys the laws and respects the rights of all New Yorkers.”
4:29 PM Occupy Wall Street is doing interviews from the Occupied Home in Brooklyn
4:19 PM I have C-SPAN on and I am watching the House Agriculture Committee ask former Senator Jon Corzine questions. The jargon being used and the manner with which Corzine is answering questions about his role in the collapse of MF Global leads me to conclude I am listening to someone who is pathologically insane. Though, in America, it is not terribly pathological for people like Corzine to do what they do and “misplace” millions of dollars of people’s money and place risky bets in European markets. This country has a long tradition of hustling and the failure of MF Global is the result of the failure of Corzine’s attempt to take his hustling to the next level. It is this hustling that Occupy boldly confronts and has been confronting. And this is why the NYSE and Wall Street firms need police to protect them from Occupy demonstrators. They cannot imagine a life without the hustle. They get off on the hustle. They are addicted and likely cannot imagine a life not hustling to make more and more money.
4:04 PM With a midnight deadline to vacate Dewey Square looming, Occupy Boston packs up.
2:56 PM Occupy Oregon posts video of Wells Fargo whistleblower telling her story of being fired by the bank and what she uncovered on predatory lending.
2:29 PM The reclaimed house in Brooklyn that the Quincy family moved into on the Occupy Homes Day of Action is still occupied. Occupy Wall Street continues to help the family with cleanup and renovation.
2:22 PM Via @JoshHarkinson – here’s the Occupy DC Christmas tree:
1:27 PM Setbacks for occupiers in Maine.
1:24 PM Family Guy writer Patrick Meighan, who was arrested in the Occupy LA raid last week and spent 25 hours in jail, details how police treated occupiers that night. He describes how police brutalized occupiers as they were forcing them to unlink their arms:
An LAPD officer would forcibly extend the protestor’s legs, grab his left foot, twist it all the way around and then stomp his boot on the insole, pinning the protestor’s left foot to the pavement, twisted backwards. Then the LAPD officer would grab the protestor’s right foot and twist it all the way the other direction until the non-violent protestor, in incredible agony, would shriek in pain and unlink from his neighbor.
10:46 AM Boston mayor Thomas Menino has issued a midnight deadline for Occupy Boston to leave Dewey Square.
10:40 AM For context, the now-infamous former senator Jon Corzine will be testifying before a Congressional committee today. Prepared testimony has been released. He doesn’t know where $1.2 billion went and defends his decision to bet on the “risky debt” of European countries.
Watch the hearing.
10:35 AM A Christmas blues classic to get us started from the legendary Charley Jordan. The lyrics speak to the poor and working class and this song is appropriate for the Occupy blog.