Friend of SFist and dedicated Occupy SF participant Scott Rossi was on the scene at last night's big barricade event. Highlights include details about the crowd knocking down the barricades and an eye-witness account of conflict between members of SFPD. Below are some excerpts.
Storming the barricades:
The police barricaded the entire perimeter of the park in, and people panicked, stormed the barricades and knocked them over. The police officer that was injured was running trying to stop a bunch of barricades from falling over domino style and he tripped and fell into the Embarcadero and his hand was run over by a car. That isn't a joke, a number of people saw it happen in front of them. Another of our people was hurt in the melee. The asshole that hit, or tried to hit a cop? Well, fuck him, he can rot in jail. We're a non-violent movement and I won't have that upstaged because you want bragging rights.
Rumors of conflict within SFPD:
Over the last few weeks, several Occupiers had seen SFPD officers in heated arguments about what they thought should be done with us, with most of the SFPD allegedly siding with us being left alone.
Scott caught a couple of glimpses of this infighting himself last night. Here's one of them:
After the SFPD had cleared the barricades from in front of the Federal Reserve and 1 Market, they were grouped around Justin Herman Plaza and were clearing the piles of barricades there. Two officers/commanders were observed in a heated argument that went something like this:
Commander #1: "Are you questioning my orders?" A hush [came over] the gathered SFPD people.
Commander #2: "No, but we don't have the morale or the manpower for this anymore."
And the first officer pulled the second through the gathered throng of police and out into the middle of the street where I'm told they continued a heated conversation at length. In front of the police and Occupiers and even some press.
What really bothered me personally, was the looks on the officers' faces this whole time. They looked lost and sad and just generally upset. Their entire operation was a clusterfuck, the Chief of Police was allegedly on the news changing his story left and right, saying at first that we were "too paranoid about a raid" and then telling another news station he needed to deploy the barricades to "contain the violence". Several Occupiers heard police officers remark to the effect of "we were supposed to gain ground, but instead we lost it!"