Was it inevitable? Perhaps the Occupy encampments have an unavoidable image problem: When your protest is sustained by people willing to camp out night after night, and is open to anyone, you draw folks who are used to this way of life, and let's face it, they aren't the kind of people who play by society's rules. An Occupy camp doesn't have a bouncer to boot out problem tenants. There's no landlord checking criminal records. Then there was the duo in these photos who trotted up to talk to this reporter in their midst. They seemed to be buddies, but spotting their obvious injuries, We asked them if they'd attempted to kick each other's asses recently. And did they have some interesting tales.
The first guy said that on one recent, blustery night, he came across a tent that had blown over at the camp. He assumed no one was inside, but spotted a kitten on a leash among the tent's rubble. He grabbed the leash, and thought he'd act as the kitten's guardian for a while, when "I realized there was someone rustling around in the tent." Suddenly, a man got to his feet and punched the dude in the face. He assumes he had on a ring, hence the gigantic scab on his cheek.
And the guy in the blue stocking cap sporting a shiner? He said that he got up in the middle of the night for a quick dash to the Porta-Potty. He claims he was just waiting outside for one to free up, when the guy who'd been on the john dashed out and clocked him in the face.
Of course, we can't corroborate these stories. We'll just have to take their word for it. What's clear is this is no Summer of Love, and Occupy's message risks being drowned out by a cacophony of tent arsons, kitty fights, and potty punches.Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF