Occupy San Francisco Raid – Police gave Occupy protesters in San Francisco only five minutes to gather their belongings before they began to take down 100+ tents at their encampment. More than 70 people were arrested as officers dismantled the camp in an overnight raid.
Police and other law enforcement officers converged on the camp at Justin Herman Plaza about 1 a.m. Officer Albie Esparza of the San Francisco Police Department told the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Most the protesters left peacefully. The 70 were arrested on suspicion of illegal lodging and camping in a public park,” Esparza said. “Two were held on an additional charge of felony assault on a police officer after they picked up and threw a metal chair at an officer that cracked his face shield,” Esparza added.
One camper, Jack Martin of San Francisco, said he was trying to leave the plaza when he was zip-tied, taken to a police station, cited and released. Officers trashed his tent and personal belongings, he told the Associated Press.
“I lost everything I owned,” Martin, 51, said as tears welled up in his eyes. “Everything I owned is gone. My medicine, my paper for my Social Security.” Asked what he planned to do next, Martin replied, “Occupy, occupy, occupy, occupy.”
After the raid, public works crews power-washed the area while officers wearing riot helmets looked on. The encampment at the plaza had been in place for about two months. The tent city was set up in mid-October to protest bank bailouts and economic injustice.