Last night, police arrested five Occupy San Francisco protesters in what Bay City News calls a “heated confrontation” over police confiscating the demonstators’ tents and camping gear at Justin Herman Plaza. The Bay Guardian reports it this way:
Police were by many accounts more aggressive than in the previous raid, which was the first direct police attack on an Occupy encampment in a major U.S. city. Last night, protesters were dragged, kicked, and struck by police officers, prompting the dispatch of an ambulance to take an injured protester to the hospital. There were at least five arrests.
And the Chron does it like this:
Protesters surrounded the city trucks and refused to move, police said. One protester slashed a truck tire. Four were arrested on suspicion of being pedestrians in a roadway and resisting arrest. Another was arrested on suspicion of battery on a police officer.
KQED’s Nina Thorsen today talked to one of the arrested protesters, James Jennison, who said about 40 officers in full riot gear participated in the raid. He said a policeman threw him up against a van without warning and placed him under arrest as protesters tried to block trucks that had been brought in to take their gear. Jennison said he and three others were cited and released.
(The Guardian reports that “police informed protesters that they could not sleep in the park and that they would need to take down a few tarps that had been propped up…In response to warnings of arrest for those who stayed at Justin Herman Plaza, about 30 moved to 101 Market Street.”)
Audio: Occupy San Francisco protester and arrestee James Jennison gives his account of what happened
Nina Thorsen also caught an impromptu conversation between some demonstrators who had come to City Hall to protest the arrests and SF Police Chief Greg Suhr, who was there to take part in a Loma Prieta anniversary event. The exchange took place outside the building, on Polk Street. In the audio, Suhr apologizes to one demonstrator who said he was given no warning by police, and goes into the reasons why protesters can’t camp at Justin Herman Plaza.
Also, here’s some good video taken last night by independent journalist Josh Wolf, which really gives a flavor of the confrontations that took place.