As we know, Mayor Lee took a tour of Justin Herman Plaza to prep for a sit-down meeting with representatives from the Occupy movement yesterday. His verdict on the camp? With around 200 tents and other communal structures, it's "a public health nuisance". Lee won't say if he'll order a raid of the camp just yet, but the city is making it clear that a plaza-cleansing could come at any time if the campers fail to get in line with DPW's new guidelines.
The new guidelines are a change of heart for the Mayor, who previously took a hard stance against camping out on the plaza. As DPW director Mohammed Nuru explained to the Chronicle, the city believes there have been some improvements to the conditions down on the plaza and they're willing to allow it with a little more cleanup. In a show of the bureaucracy's technological prowess Mr. Nuru, who goes by the delightfully on-the-nose Twitter handle of "@MrCleanSF", helpfully tweeted the new camping rules under the #OccupySF hashtag:
The 11 guidelines will limit structures to small tents and only 100 of them, clear out walkways and ban stoves or open flames. (Basically the same sort of camping guidelines you'd find at a state park during the dry season, if you want to look at it that way.) In addition to the camping guidelines, the city wants the entire camp picked up for regular power-washings, glass bottles are forbidden and is making it clear that drinking booze and consuming or selling illegal drugs won't be tolerated on the plaza.
Meanwhile, C.W. Nevius, the Chronicle's foremost expert on misplaced human waste in the city, is skeptical that the group will be able to meet the city's demands. But in his Thursday column, Nevius relayed the story of a 52-year-old woman who was on her way to buy Richard III tickets when she decided to move in to the plaza. She lasted 10 days before she spotted a guy passed out with a 12-pack of beer and decided to leave.
Still, in a brief moment of clarity, Nevius notes the central problem with the Occupy movement as it currently stands: No one from the Occupy group would make a statement to the media following yesterday's meeting. The one "articulate, thoughtful and persuasive" speaker, 24-year-old Standford Grad Meagan Moroney, who did speak to the cameras was silenced by another occupier because "she didn't represent the group."