Second stabbing in as many days at Occupy SF leaves protesters asking for calm 

Check your weapons on Market Street, please.

After two stabbings in as many days, the group working to revive the Occupy SF movement in front of the Federal Reserve Bank said Tuesday it wants folks to turn in their weapons before joining the fight against economic disparity.

The request follows a Sunday night incident in which 28-year-old demonstrator Brian “Boston” Reid was stabbed in the chest after an argument, police and witnesses said. Reid survived, but had to undergo surgery, demonstrators said Tuesday.

Then on Monday night, a 27-year-old man was stabbed in the neck during a brawl with a transient who had been screaming 9/11 conspiracy theories at the group, police and witnesses said. The victim, who would only identify himself as Jim, later said he rejoined the group after being stitched up and released from the hospital.

No arrests have been reported in either incident. However, officers will now be posted at the protest site around the clock, police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said Tuesday.

The violence has marred a burgeoning effort to bring back the occupation as warmer weather approaches The City.
“Now Occupy SF wants people to check in their knives,” said activist Mike Clift, 44.

Check-ins would not be mandatory, but rather operate on an “honor system,” said Debra Lujan, 34, a longtime Occupy member.

Occupiers said they don’t want to violate people’s rights, but they need to ensure safety.

“Everyone carries a knife,” Clift said. “You live on the street, you have to carry a blade.”

Demonstrators said the attackers in both stabbings were not Occupiers, but instead troublemakers who merely pass through the area where the group gathers at 101 Market St.

The suspect pulled out a knife and stabbed Jim in the neck, police said. Jim said he and the attacker tumbled down the staircase during the scuffle. When asked what he was thinking at the time he was being stabbed, his response Tuesday was “Ouch.”

“I thought, ‘This is going to leave a bruise,’” Jim said.

Mayor Ed Lee on Tuesday said he doesn’t believe the stabbings should affect the protesters’ rights to assemble.
“The protesters have a right to be there; they’re all within the law,” Lee said, adding that he hasn’t heard of any tents being at the site.

In December, Lee authorized a raid on the Justin Herman Plaza encampment across from the Ferry Building, citing a city law banning camping in tents in public spaces and a determination by San Francisco officials that the site was a public health hazard.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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