Occupy SF protest camp growing again in San Francisco 

Despite an early-morning raid Thursday by police and the Department of Public Works, Occupy SF protesters re-established their camp this weekend, taking up most of the block in front of the Federal Reserve building on Market Street.

Click on the photo at right to see a gallery of images from the Occupy SF encampment.

Protester Nicole Ghanbarzadeh, 22, of Oakland said about 120 people slept on the sidewalk Saturday night without tents. At least 200 protesters were at the site this afternoon. They had a bountiful supply of donated food, along with a bicycle-powered generator to keep laptops humming.

“Once we reorganize to a place we can have tents, we’re going to really grow,” Ghanbarzadeh said. “We’re not going away.”

Supervisor John Avalos, a candidate for mayor who supports the movement, said he would meet Tuesday morning with the Police Commission and police chief, along with the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild, to discuss how the police can best accommodate protesters. 

Ghanbarzadeh said Occupy SF had asked Avalos for help securing a permit to camp at Civic Center Plaza, but they had not heard back. Avalos said he did not receive the request.

“I want to be supportive,” he said Sunday, “but I haven’t heard anything coherent about what exactly they want.”

Avalos also denied that a campaign event in Dolores Park was connected to the Occupy SF march through the Mission District on Saturday afternoon.

Ghanbarzadeh said Avalos’ event, which coincided with the march, made some protesters uncomfortable. She said they had reached a consensus that Occupy SF would not endorse candidates or affiliate itself with campaigns.

“We’re really wary of people using the movement,” she said.

But that has not stopped candidates from endorsing Occupy SF. Today, state Sen. Leland Yee’s campaign released a supportive statement.

“The 'Occupy' Movement is long overdue to finally put a check on corporate greed and bring some basic equity to our communities,” Yee said.

Protesters on Sunday said labor unions were expected to join them this week in demonstrations. On Monday morning, hotel workers union Unite Here Local 2 will join Occupy SF protesters for a 7 a.m. “wake-up call.” On Wednesday, the Communications Workers of America will stop by.

Other Bay Area cities have their own occupiers. Occupy Oakland is scheduled to take over Frank Ogawa Plaza starting at 4 p.m. Monday. Occupy Berkeley set up an encampment Saturday night.

All of the movements are in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, a New York City protest that has been going on since mid-September.

acrawford@sfexaminer.com

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Amy Crawford

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Sunday, Dec 11, 2016

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