Occupy SF protesters said on their website Thursday that they
believe a police raid on their encampment in San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza is imminent.
Demonstrators have been camping at the plaza at the foot of Market Street for several weeks, and the encampment had grown to about 200 tents as of the city's last count on Wednesday.
The size of the encampment, as well as deteriorating sanitary
conditions there, led Mayor Ed Lee and other city officials to meet with members of Occupy SF on Wednesday to discuss their concerns.
Upon leaving the meeting, Lee said he would give the protesters
"the immediate opportunity to demonstrate" that they could meet the city's demands to clean up the encampment "and then we'll see what happens."
In a post on the group's website, www.occupysf.com, campers said those comments "implied that a raid was likely."
On its Twitter feed, the group posted a voicemail that it said was
from the secretary for Mohammed Nuru, director of the Department of Public Works.
The speaker on the voicemail said the city was "going to declare
the whole area a health disaster, and everybody's going to have to go."
DPW spokeswoman Gloria Chan said the Department of Public Health declared the encampment a public health nuisance Thursday, and that DPW officials had again told them they were in violation of city regulations.
She said she had no other information about any potential police
Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Andraychak said he is not aware of any imminent action, saying "there's nothing new on our end."
On its website, Occupy SF also cited the police action early
Wednesday morning to dismantle 15 tents that had been set up as an ancillary camp along the first block of Market Street as a sign that there will be a raid at the main camp soon.
Police said Wednesday those tents had to be removed to maintain an adequate amount of walking space on the sidewalk.
Two people were arrested when police from the University of
California at Berkeley and other agencies disbanded the Occupy Cal encampment on the steps of Sproul Hall early Thursday, a university spokesman said.
The two men were arrested for failure to disperse and unlawful
lodging, UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said.
Occupy Cal protesters set up an encampment of about 15 tents
Tuesday night after a general assembly attended by more than 1,000 people voted by a margin of 89 percent to 11 percent to do so, protesters said.
A previous attempt to set up an encampment last week was thwarted by UC Berkeley police and officers from other agencies, whose aggressive tactics have been criticized by Occupy Cal protesters.
UC Berkeley has a policy against allowing camping on campus, but police didn't act immediately to remove the tents that were set up Tuesday night.
Mogulof said university officials and police monitored the
situation and waited for a time when they thought it would be safe and effective to remove the tents.
He said they decided that 3:30 a.m. Thursday would be a good time to take action, and he said the removal of the tents was "very peaceful" and there weren't any confrontations.
Occupy Cal protesters were given hourly warnings by police that
the encampment was illegal and they were subject to arrest, Mogulof said.
The protesters were given time to take down their tents, Mogulof
said. They also were given time to take away two pianos that they had set up on the steps of Sproul Hall for music sessions, he said.
Five Occupy Oakland protesters have lost a bid to a federal judge
in San Francisco for a temporary restraining order blocking what they claim is excessive use of force by police.
U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg declined on Wednesday to grant a temporary restraining order against the city and Police Chief Howard Jordan.
Seeborg said the plaintiffs had produced evidence indicating they
might be able to prove that the city violated its crowd control policy "on sporadic occasions," but said they hadn't shown the "widespread and systematic" constitutional violations that would warrant such an order.
"The Occupy Oakland protests have continued, at times, for days on end without any alleged unconstitutional interference from local authorities," Seeborg wrote.
Seeborg scheduled a hearing for Nov. 30 on the protesters' request for a preliminary injunction, the next step in the case.
The five protesters filed their lawsuit on Monday. The American
Civil Liberties Union of Northern California is also a plaintiff.
The plaintiffs claim police use of projectiles and tear gas on
Oct. 25 and Nov. 2 violated the city's policy, their First Amendment right of free speech and other constitutional rights. They say they fear violations
will continue unless blocked by a court order.
Lawyers for the city said in court papers filed Tuesday that
police are complying with the Constitution and city policy and that alleged isolated incidents of misconduct will be investigated.
"The record is clear that the Oakland Police Department has done a very difficult job facilitating First Amendment activities by thousands of persons on a daily basis under stressful conditions over the past 30 days in a manner consistent with the Constitution and the department's own crowd control policy," the attorneys said.
People without permits to camp at the Occupy Santa Rosa site at
City Hall were ordered Thursday to leave immediately or be arrested.
Two Santa Rosa police officers were at the site at Santa Rosa
Avenue and First Street, but they would not say when arrests could occur.
"The order is effective immediately," one of the officers said.
About 80 tents remain on two lawns at City Hall. Several still
have a "notice of violation and demand to cease violations" attached to them. The notice, distributed by the city, is dated Thursday.
Those who have the permits to camp that were issued by the city
manager's office on Tuesday have the paper permit, along with their photos, names and addresses, attached to their tents as required by the city.
Ben Browner, an Occupy Santa Rosa member, said 28 permits were issued to 40 people on Tuesday. Each permit was for a specific tent.
Browner said many Occupy Santa Rosa members did not apply for the camping permits because of the conditions the city imposed.
Those included the requirement that campers submit a photo and their names and addresses. He said campers also had expected the city to issue about 100 permits, but that the city only planned to give out 51.
Santa Rosa city officials intended to distribute more permits
Thursday but canceled those plans when Occupy Santa Rosa members announced Wednesday that they would not abide by the camping permit conditions.
Thursday afternoon, some of the protesters are taking down their tents, while others are removing pots and pans, plastic containers and wooden pallets from the area where food had been distributed.