Daniel Ellsberg speaks during the Nov. 20, 2011 occupation of Market Street in San Francisco, shot by Justin Beck.
At about 4:40 p.m., occupiers decided to take back the space in front of the Federal Reserve building at 101 Market Street that had been cleared by cops the night before. They stood and sat in the middle of Market Street, and they even pitched 7 tents. This went on for over 7 hours.
Daniel Ellsberg (famous for leaking the Pentagon Papers which helped bring down Nixon) showed up on the scene in the early evening. Ellsberg was scheduled to speak at 7:30, but he didn't seem to notice what was happening in the street. He would later tell me that he had accidentally worn his reading glasses.
So, instead of sticking around, Ellsberg walked toward Justin Herman Plaza to find his media contact. But first, he went over to the ice skating rink to take some pictures. At that point I decided to intervene and help him find his contact, David Kubrin. We wandered around the campsite asking everyone we could find if they'd seen Kubrin. Ellsberg even peeked into a big pink tent asking for him.
Finally, I convinced Ellsberg that he'd probably find his contact back at 101 Market, where all the action was happening anyway. We went back, and he spoke three times to the occupiers throughout the evening before they picked up their tents at midnight and marched back to the plaza.
A few memorable quotes:
"We have the makings of a police state."
"What people are learning in this movement is the potential for an eventual general strike."
"President Obama is still turning people over to be tortured and that is a crime."
On the Bush administration: "It's too late for impeachment but I don't think it's too late for prosecution."
On diversity of tactics (property damage, etc.): "The impulses of rage...should be turned into an impulse to change the system."
After arguing that cops weren't arresting us in the street at the moment because we all had cellphones: "They have to do it over our bodies."
But, cops did arrest at least two people that night. I witnessed both. The first arrest happened shortly after occupiers took Market Street and some began moving the police barricades in front of the Fed building. (I didn't see what prompted police to arrest the guy, but I assume it had something to do with a barricade.) The other arrest happened shortly after midnight, after one occupier sat in the street and refused to move despite a warning from cops that he'd be arrested if he stayed.