May 23, 2013
San Francisco police dismantle protest camp
Police dismantled a tent city of Occupy protesters in downtown San Francisco early on Wednesday, arresting more than 50 people as they shut down the largest remaining Occupy encampment on the West Coast.
But later in Washington, DC, hundreds of demonstrators who share the movement's discontent with the US economic system marched on the K Street area famous as a centre for lobbyists, disrupting traffic.
San Francisco authorities had repeatedly warned Occupy protesters to move from the public plaza at the foot of Market Street in recent weeks and tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a move to another location.
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said there were about 100 people in the camp when the police moved in shortly before 2 am on Wednesday, and about 100 officers took part in the action.
About 50 people were arrested, he said. Two were arrested for felony assault after hitting a policeman in the face with a chair, but the action was otherwise mostly free of violence.
Efforts to clear an Occupy camp in Oakland last month led to violent confrontations between police and protesters and several serious injuries, and San Francisco authorities were eager to avoid a repeat of that.
In Los Angeles, police used a massive force of 1,200 officers to clear a much larger Occupy camp in late November.
Authorities in many US cities, often citing health and safety conditions, have dismantled protest camps that sprang from the original Occupy movement in New York against economic inequality and perceived excesses of the US financial system.