SF supervisors support OccupySF's 24/7 encampment

Will Mayor Ed Lee now soften his stance against allowing OccupySF to maintain a 24/7 encampment?
Steven T. Jones

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors today approved a resolution supporting Occupy Wall Street and the right of OccupySF to maintain a 24/7 encampment in Justin Herman Plaza, although sponsors of the measure narrowly lost a fight over amending the measure to allow police to use force if “there is an objective threat to safety or health.”

The sponsors of the measure – Sups. John Avalos, David Campos, Eric Mar, and Jane Kim – noted that heath and safety concerns were used as a pretext for both police raids on OccupySF and for last week's violent police crackdown on the Occupy Oakland encampment, something San Francisco officials uniformly say they want to avoid here. Those four sponsors were joined by Sup. Ross Mirkarimi in opposing the amendment by Sup. Scott Wiener, which passed on a 6-5 vote.

But the overall measure – which urges Mayor Ed Lee to drop his opposition to tents and other camping infrastructure and not order another police raid on the camp – was then approved on an 8-3 vote, with Sups. Mark Farrell, Carmen Chu, and Sean Elsbernd in dissent. Farrell and Chu both expressed support for the movement's call for addressing severe economic inequities in the country, but they oppose the tactic of occupation.

Board President David Chiu, the swing vote on allowing the resolution to be watered down, said his vote was an effort to get as much support for the measure as possible. “For me, it was important to build consensus here at the board,” he said, praising the work that city officials and OccupySF participants have done to resolve their differences. “I have been very impressed with the behavior of individuals involved in this movement.”

Wiener had made a number of amendments to the resolution that Avalos accepted without objection, drawing the line only at the change that would specifically allow for police to use force to dislodge the protesters. While the nonbinding resolution doesn't compel any action by Lee or the SFPD, Avalos praised the mayor for meeting privately with OccupySF members after he seemed to take a firm public stand again allowing camping.

“I do want to thank the mayor for coming to the table on how our public spaces can be used,” Avalos said. Kim echoed the point, noting that, “A ton of progress has been made.” The Mayor's Office has not yet responded to Guardian requests for comment on the resolution or his current position on OccupySF, but we'll update this post when we hear back.

Wiener and others also thanked Avalos for taking the lead role in addressing this issue. “I want to thank Sup. Avalos for being so open and collaborative,” Wiener said, noting that he's been very impressed with how OccupySF has handled itself throughout the standoff. “I'm very supportive of OccupySF...It's been incredibly peaceful and people have been friendly and passionate.”


"Consensus" to David Chiu, means "progressives plus David Chiu." If he'd just voted for the original resolution, he would've gotten the same "consensus."

Make no mistake, Chiu is just handing Ed Lee a pretext to crack down after the election.

When a politician says that he's not voting for something because it doesn't have the votes, what he really means is that it doesn't have the votes because he's not voting for it.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

Greg, u typify the ignorant, irrational ultra left progressive. U think every vote is black and white, and politicians who don't vote your way every time is "selling out" or doing so for some backdoor bribe that you have no evidence for. You have no clue that in order for most things to pass, people actually have to negotiate and give up concessions. I'm sure you along with idiots like Eric Brooks think that Obama could have got a public option on health care as well if he just forced it through (reality check, I favored the public option but there are a lot of Dems with ultra conservative constituencies that would've never voted for it). You remind of that idiot by the same name, Greg Dewar.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 7:54 am

he also is less consistent. Sometimes he's rational and sometimes he's way off. I'd guess he's on some type of med's.

But on a good day, he can make sense.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:16 am

Guest, u typify the defeatist, milquetoast spineless so-called centrists who helped get us into the mess we're in now, and are the reason that both parties are so discredited.

When you want to get something done, you have to fight for it. You use carrots, sticks, you cajole, you threaten, you use your bully pulpit, you campaign and take it to the people in the districts of congressmen who are opposing your initiative -you do whatever it takes, and you can do a tremendous amount when you're the President.

FDR didn't "have the votes" to pass the New Deal. But he did what it took to get those votes. Obama never wanted a public option to begin with. If he did, he would've fought for it.

Why is it that we always seem to find the votes for the wars and the bankers, but never for stuff that helps people? They didn't have the votes for bailouts either, but they somehow found those votes. But the public option is "off the table." There's always room on that table for bailouts for banks, but they want us to be satisfied with the crumbs from that table that they throw down to us. And they've been getting away with it, because there are too many dogs like you who are willing to sit under the table and beg, and lick from the floor and be satisfied with whatever crumbs they throw at you from the table.

Well no more. This is all changing now. Americans are finally starting to recognize who's on their side, who's not, and who's just trying opportunistically to come along for the ride for their own advancement, like that little turd David Chiu.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:22 am

should trump activism, direct action and terrorism.

Just because you believe A doesn't mean that you have the right to impose A. Rather, you allow us all to vote for or against A, and accept the result.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:56 am

Yes , no sit/lie is still an issue because my rights were taken away. You'd be fighting too if someone took away a right you use.

Posted by G.S. on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:32 am

So derangement syndrome is clearly as alive on the left (with the obsessing over Sit/Lie) as it is on the right over healthcare reform.

Posted by guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 9:17 am

Since when does being 'reasonable' accomplish anything in this world?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 9:01 am

They say that acknowledgement is the first of the 12 steps.

The problem with achieving things with direct action is that they are not always the things you want.

You assume you're right about everything and therefore wish to place yourself above democracy. If the voters won't give you what you want, then you just ignore them.

If you were right-wing, that would be fascism. Why is it any better just because you're left wing?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 10:05 am

You're criticizing a guy for voting FOR the Resolution? And bringing along two people with him (Cohen and Weiner) in the process?

Posted by John on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

Any protestor breaking the law continues to be liable to arrest.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

It boggles my mind that Scott Wiener supports this protest given his support for the sit/lie law. Total contradiction given that the occupiers are both sitting and lying on the sidewalks/public spaces at times...

Posted by James Monroe on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

Progressive obsession with this law reminds me of the derangement syndrome presented by many Republicans in response to Obama's healthcare law. Among Republicans every single issue is always linked to Obamacare while amongst SF progressives every single issue comes back to Sit/Lie.

Sit/Lie, like Obama's healthcare law, is now the law. And if anything Sit/Lie has more legitimacy because it was passed by a vote of the people.

Deal with it.

Posted by guest on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

I even saw a cop on a horse there a few days ago, rousting some ne'er-do-wells from their squat. It's popular with the residents and the businesses there. The only people opposing it don't live there, it seems.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

The Haight voted against it. It passed because people who don't live there voted for it.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

Whether a neighborhood supported it or not is immaterial to the law being supported by the voters of SF and as a result - the law of the city of SF.

Much like Obama's healthcare plan is now the law of the United States, regardless of what state or congressional district supports it or not.

Posted by guest on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

You can guess from the individual voting station stats but I can tell you, since I live there, that most of my neighbours are thrilled with S/L.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 7:30 am


Also, your pissy little song and dance about how people on the streets feel does not contradict the facts.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 7:45 am

Let me educate you on the difference between a "guess" and "knowing how a neighborhood voted."

You can, in fact, KNOW how a neighborhood voted, by going to a site like howsfvotes.com, where you can get all the precinct data and break it down any way you wish. If you do that, you will find that both D5, and the more narrow Haight Ashbury precincts, rejected sit/lie. It doesn't take hours of going over data either. They have nice colorful maps.

A GUESS, is when you say "all my friends" or "all the neighbors that I know" seem to like it, and from that, making the conjecture that the whole neighborhood reflects your narrow circle of hater friends.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:01 am

the Haight. It's just that the Haight was where vagrancy, nuisance and petty crime was a bigger issue.

The City clearly voted it's support and I'm not too concerned with how that broke down by Zip Code.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:15 am

I'm responding to the argument that the residents of the Haight wanted this thing. That's demonstrably not the case. If you're not the same "guest" making those arguments, well I'm having trouble keeping track of all the assorted anonymous nimbies, righties, and all-purpose haters who all post under the name "guest."

As to the larger issue, there's something even more important than whether the law is popular.

The important issue is that the law is unjust. And unjust laws should be resisted. And before you jump on me for being a hypocrite, I'm perfectly willing to resist. If a cop ever tries to roust me from sitting on the sidewalk, I'm going to quietly answer, "No. You can site me or arrest me for violating the sit-lie ordinance if you want, but I refuse the order to stand up." I have no problem being the test case in the San Francisco courts.

Thing is... my guess is that they specifically target people who look like they don't have the means to challenge them in court.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:34 am

I think S/L is just and you don't. So a "feeling" of justice isn't a good basis for changing something. And it's why we have elections to find out for sure.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:59 am

Human rights are above the temporary whims of the majority.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

"I have no problem being the test case in the San Francisco courts."

LOL - yeah. Except, you know, you haven't been "the test case" and I don't see that happening anytime soon, despite your wish to be the glorious martyr for Sit/Lie disobedience.

Posted by guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 9:24 am

But don't underestimate my willingness to do it. Last year, the HOA for the complex where I live violated my free speech rights with their rules. They scoffed at me when I threatened to sue (I tried reasoning first, 'cause I'm a nice guy that way). They wouldn't reason, and they didn't think I'd actually go to court. They were wrong. I sued. I won. I don't pick fights unnecessarily, but I take my rights very seriously.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

Every HOA has one - you're that guy.

Congratulations, dude. Imagine every homeowners HOA fees went up 20-30% to pay off the legal fees so you could exercise your "free speech".

You're bragging about something that isn't noble, and isn't impressive. You're bragging about a shakedown. Anybody, anywhere can do that. It's a genuine sense of decency that most people have - they realize they *can* use an expensive lawsuit to extort money ("oops! I fell here - pay me or I'll sue" or "Hey, I'm upset I don't get to do exactly what I want - found a shady lawyer who can help me screw over my neighbors") - but they don't do that.

You do. And brag about it. It wasn't about your "rights", it was about your payout.


What goes around comes around.

Posted by Guesty on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

I neither asked for, nor received any money. All I wanted in this case was that my rights be respected. And I exhausted every option before suing. It was the principle that mattered. And in the process, by the way, I expanded the rights of other residents. Other than from the board itself, which is composed of the same sorts of professional minders of other people's business as the ones pushing sit/lie, nearly all of the feedback I received was positive.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

Because you want to force your values on other people.

If the manager of a pharmacy started selling smokes you would have a shit fit.

If McDonalds started selling happy meals that didn't adhere to your love of the state you would be freaking out.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

I have no problem with people smoking, or with happy meals (even though I personally don't smoke and don't eat McDonalds -it's "mal bufe" as the French say). A corporation's right to market to children probably isn't high on my list of things I'd rush to defend, but I thought the whole thing was really much ado about nothing. If the comment was directed at me, I think you're mistaking me for someone else.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

Petty crime isn't any higher in the Haight either. Just another in your imagination.

Posted by G.S. on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:35 am

Those who live there disagree with you. They actually have to live it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 9:00 am

If the people in the Haight think petty crime is such a big problem, then why did they vote against sit/lie?

Oh wait, I know the answer... perhaps because arresting people for sitting on the sidewalk does absolutely NOTHING to reduce crime! Duh.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

police Lt. Belinda Kerr from the Park Station acknowledged that the law has not done much to change behavior in the area.

There has been "a prolific amount of arrests, citations and warnings ... but I haven't seen that it's done a whole lot," Kerr said.

She said the transients will often get up when they see officers drive by in their patrol cars, but "unfortunately are getting up and going around the block and then sitting down again."


Posted by matlock on Nov. 03, 2011 @ 1:13 am

Obama's healthcare is the law....until the Supreme Court strikes it down...And ditto for your second point.

Posted by G.S. on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:34 am

Plus if no sit/lie has legitimacy, cite the protestors. There is nothing in the law that limits its use to homeless people. In fact, the only exemption is for an owner (not a renter) to place a chair in front of their home. Exemptions for waiting for public transportation and for First Amendment issues were removed from an earlier draft.

Posted by G.S. on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:38 am

Are you fu^)ing kidding me?

Most of these numb nuts don't even know why they are there let alone what they intend to accomplish. And most of us (I'm part of the 99%...trust me) want them gone. What a nuiscance. I'm trying to work, support 2 kids, and survive and they simply are whinning and crying for more handouts. Get a job!!!!!!!!
Get out of SF

Posted by Guest on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

Most of us do NOT want the Occupy Movement gone.
YOU are in the minority with that opinion.
You really ought to rethink it, because the 1% is screwing you while you pick fights with your neighbors.

"Forty-three percent of Americans agree with the views of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll that found a widespread belief that money and wealth should be distributed more evenly in America.

Twenty-seven percent of Americans said they disagree with the movement"

Posted by Guest on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

Was the question "do you agree with the VIEWS?" or "...the MOVEMENT". Sure lots of people agree with their views of income disparity. I do! But do the respondents agree with the (bowel) 'movement'? I don't. It is doomed because there are no objectives. So wealth should be distributed more evenly. How is this to be accomplished? The 'Occupy'ers haven't the foggiest notion. Right arm Guest-5:59pm.

Posted by DanC on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

It's a very simple notion, one that we used to understand in this country, and that is being well-articulated in the streets today. You can play ignorant, DanC, or just disagree, but it's inaccurate to say they don't have objectives. The solution is actually very simple: tax the rich. Tax capital gains as income, close all the tax loopholes that the rich wrote for themselves, make large corporations pay their faire share rather than shifting that burden to the rest of us, raise the inheritance tax, listen to rich people like Warren Buffet and Sean Parker who are telling us to tax them at higher rates. It's really not that complicated unless you apathetic souls slinging insults at the occupiers want to make it so. You're sick of the occupiers? Well guess what, the rest of us are sick of you cowardly enablers of the plutocracy, people who would rather steal from future generations than sack up and do the right thing.

Posted by steven on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

Those are clearly among the key demands of Occupy Wall Street. For the first time in decades the media is talking about these issues, and the income inequality that stems from them. The Occupiers are doing all of us in the 98% a great service. God Bless the Occupiers.

Posted by Thomas Brown on Nov. 01, 2011 @ 11:14 pm

I think it's true that most Americans support the activists in the trenches of the Occupy movement. It's also true that the national movement needs to come out for clearly defined issues. Like planks in a political campaign, issues like a flat tax, an end to the wars, affordable healthcare, legalization of marijuana, an end to lobbying and the corruption it has caused in congress, etc. To refine and put these issues across to the general public, a charismatic leader needs to emerge to put a face on the movement to the media, and form the grass roots of a political caucus of local and national candidates who take the pledge to support these if elected.

Forming a political party to effect lawmaking that benefits average people instead of corportations and special interests, in my mind, is the only way to produce lasting change. Responsibility, transparency, accountability. It can be done.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 7:45 am

But it's not hard to drum up hatred against the "rich" or any other minority group. If wew ere willing to enslave people based on skin color, why wouldn't we pick on any other group?

Ask instead how many are willing to join the camp? It's a few hundred at most in any given city. Unless they develop focus and come up with some clear objectives, they will fizzle into obscurity.

We already have the means to achieve change, and you have your chance next Tuesday.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:19 am

I could make an umpteenth post with links to several polls, but I already did that. So have others. What's the point? I don't think people like you let facts get in the way of a good narrative.

In any case, one doesn't preclude the other. I've participated in Occupy, and I'll be voting next Tuesday too.

But what we need to remember, and what America is waking up to, is the idea that voting in a rigged system every couple of years won't make change happen. Change doesn't come from a magnanimous mayor or friendly congress. Change comes from below. You have to struggle for it. You have to disrupt. You have to demand. That is the meaning of real participatory democracy.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:46 am

That's hardly participating at all.

Why aren't you there 24/7 if you really believe it's that important?

That's the problem, while a lot of people might vaguely approve, they're not about to do anything about it. And that's why it's just a few hundred people who can be easily ignored.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 8:58 am

I was there today at the general strike, and it was a beautiful thing. Thousands of people filling the streets, and again it wasn't your typical lefties. Not that there's anything wrong with your typical lefties, but this movement is bigger than that, and it's growing. Not everyone can be out there camping every night. If I was unemployed, maybe I would be. But I can't give the movement that kind of committment at this time. And that's OK. I donate, and I'm there when I can be. The people in the camp will be the first ones to tell you they're perfectly fine with that. The important thing is that the message is getting out, and support is building for the goals of the movement. And yes, there are goals, and yes, there is a purpose. And yes, already the movement has achieved something pretty huge. In just a few short weeks, this movement has totally changed the political discourse in America. For the first time I can remember, wealth inequality and economic injustice is being talked about. If they achieve nothing else, that will already be huge. But this is only the beginning.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

The left wants us to vote right and wise up and realize that we are all getting screwed by the 1% who pay to play.

It's true that the 1% hold far to much power in the USA.

But where ever the left has taken over they are just as bad. The California legislature is peoples with dozens of union owned democrats who are just as narrow and have little interest in anyone but there own owners.

The city of SF is run by the far left and the streets are a shambles, the left here pick and choose what laws they think should be enforced to their own advantage, they have an entitlement mentality that would shame a born again Christian.

Angela Davis is speaking in Oakland today, she represents the 1% of the nation that are still Stalinists.

So who represents the 95% that isn't the filthy rich or the entitled college communist and union lacky?

Posted by matlock on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 9:24 am

She's actually a Communist. There's a difference.

Posted by guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 10:27 am

Still an empty vessel.


But Angela’s politics weren’t perfect, she was a Stalinist, and was uncritical of the lack of workers’ democracy in the Soviet Union and other Stalinist regimes’. Her lack of real long-term strategy for the working class to take power meant that after the USSR collapsed she saw no alternative and left the Communist Party, moving away from communism and revolution as a strategy for working-class emancipation. She now limits herself to fighting for reforms, but she still tours regularly and is a vigorous campaigner against the US’ imperialist wars.


For some reason can get my link past captcha

Posted by matlock on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 10:44 am

Gavin Newsom, Ed Lee and Willie Brown are not "far left".

They are corporate boot licking douchebags, like yourself.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

Have we not been treated to Guardian ravings about the progressive decade?

Anywhere else in the USA a mayor Newsom would be hailed as a major progressive coop.

Get outside of the mono culture of the bay area my lesser ape.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 12:31 pm