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Friday, May 4, 2012

DA to Charge Brick-Tossing Protesters in Occupation of Church Building

Posted By on Fri, May 4, 2012 at 8:53 AM

click to enlarge Now they are occupying jail - ALBERT SAMAHA
  • Albert Samaha
  • Now they are occupying jail

District Attorney George Gascón is wasting no time building his case against the protesters who were arrested during Tuesday evening's occupation of the San Francisco Archdiocese building during the May Day strikes.

Gascón fired off a statement last night, detailing his intention to charge five of the 26 protesters who were hauled off to jail that night. Four of those protesters will be slapped with misdemeanor trespassing charges, and one will be charged with a felony assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of felony assault on a police officer, and one count of felony vandalism. Gascón noted that four of those being charged were also

arrested on April 2 when protesters occupied the same building, causing some $25,000 in damages.

"I am one of millions of Americans who supports the right to protest and agrees with the original intent of the Occupy movement's efforts to call out financial institutions and their role in causing economic inequalities," Gascón noted. "The reckless vandalism and violence on April 30 and May 1, however, crossed the line."

On Tuesday, protesters stormed the vacant building at 888 Turk St., which they claimed would become their commune for the city's homeless population. But, per usual, things got out of hand, as some members of the group accessed the second story of the building, and at least one person was busted hurling bricks from the roof, hitting bystanders. That person was later identified as 34-year-old Jesse Nesbitt, who, by the way, was arrested earlier this year for tossing bottles at a Public Works Department employee during an Occupy event at Justin Herman Plaza.

But the DA's involvement isn't limited to prosecuting the occupiers. At 1:30 pm., Gascón will head out to the Mission District to "lend his support" to those merchants whose storefronts were callously trashed during a separate protest Monday night. Specifically, he will stand out in front of Bar Tartine on Valencia Street and call on the public to donate to the WePay donation site, which you can find here.

If Gascón really wants to "lend his support," then he should lend those ravaged businesses a few dollars of his own.

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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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