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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Building Occupiers Hurl Bricks Onto Crowd Below -- Arrests Made

Posted By on Tue, May 1, 2012 at 4:33 PM

This is what happened last time at that same site - COURTESY OF SFPD
  • Courtesy of SFPD
  • This is what happened last time at that same site

Update, 6:25 p.m.: SF Weekly's Albert Samaha says the man accused of tossing bricks onto the crowd from atop occupied 888 Turk has been arrested. The suspect has been charged with felony aggravated assault, according to Police Chief Greg Suhr.

Suhr chalked up the violence to "Gang anarchists who sometimes call themselves 'Black Bloc,'" whom he also blames for last night's vandalism in the Mission. "We are aware that they are stockpiling bricks and pipes," he said. "This is criminal conduct. This is not First Amendment demonstration." 

The man hit in the chest and face by a tossed brick was a self-described occupier. He declined medical attention. Police say the intended target was an officer videotaping the scene. The man who threw metal pipes at police cars from a nearby rooftop remains on the loose.

Update, 5:55 p.m. Albert Samaha estimates about 70 cops in riot gear, about a dozen on motorbikes, and six axe-wielding firefighters are on the scene. About two dozen bystanders are observing from Jefferson Square Park nearby. No move to storm the building yet following the object-tossing mayhem earlier this hour.

Update, 5:35 p.m. Following a man on the roof of the occupied building tossing bricks, Samaha says a man on a separate, higher rooftop hurled what appears to be a metal pipe into the crowd. He continues to throw objects off the roof onto Gough and Turk; he hit a police car with his fourth attempt.

Update, 5:28 p.m. SF Weekly's Albert Samaha says a masked man on the roof of the Turk Street building is tossing bricks onto the crowd below.

This was sparked after a tussle broke out when officers detained a man who had been brazenly taking down police barricades.

Samaha estimates a crowd of 50 or more are on the scene; some are calling for an ambulance -- it appears one of those tossed bricks hit a person. More than 50 police are on the scene and more are coming.

Samaha says it appears police are readying themselves to enter the building. An ambulance is en route.

Update: SFPD has now closed off Turk Street at Franklin. Police have now surrounded the building with metal fences. One occupier yells to police, "Get the fuck outta here."

Oakland wasn't the only city hosting commotion today. As promised, occupiers in San Francisco stormed a building on 888 Turk St. shortly after 3 p.m., where they are currently camping out.

According to SF Weekly Staff Writer Albert Samaha, some 40 protesters have entered the building, which is the same Archdiocese of San Francisco site that the group occupied on April 1. They've hung banners and removed the chain link fence, declaring the site their own commune.

Some 20 officers in riot gear are standing across the street, chatting away while protesters climb the rooftops of the building. 

Some protesters said they were displeased with the building takeover, claiming this is exactly the kind of action that makes the Occupy movement look bad. "There are far more aggressive people here this time  -- they're a lot more bombastic," said Alix Txc, a local protester. "A lot of the Oakland folks came here."

Of course, others felt like this is exactly what Occupy should be doing -- occupying. Chris Shirley, a San Francisco protester, told SF Weekly that he felt this was just one baby step toward something much bigger. "We are witnessing a genesis," he said.

So far it seems kinda tame and lame over there, but considering this is private property, we expect this "commune" won't last long.

Follow us on Twitter at  @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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