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Occupy San Francisco

Updated on July 13, 2013

Occupy San Francisco

Occupy San Francisco, looking northeast from the south end of Herman Park
Occupy San Francisco, looking northeast from the south end of Herman Park | Source
Occupy San Francisco, looking North
Occupy San Francisco, looking North | Source
View of Occupy San Francisco, facing North. I'm standing on the pony wall, just above the black plastic homeless tent and the mustard yellow blanketed man.
View of Occupy San Francisco, facing North. I'm standing on the pony wall, just above the black plastic homeless tent and the mustard yellow blanketed man. | Source

Accidental Encounter

My wife and I took our out-of-town Kiwi guest to tour San Francisco, do some shopping, and see the city. We disembarked BART at Powell, got a city map at the information center, and boarded a trolley car. I asked the driver, "Does this car go to the Embarcadero?" He confirmed it did, and after some confusion about "no change, no change" in broken English, I slipped a $5 bill into the currency taker and we boarded. The free San Fran visitor map from the Information Center identified this as the M line.

As we approached Embarcadero, at the jog around Herman Park, we got an unexpected, full view of the Occupy San Francisco camp as the trolley car bell dinged and the car lurched and clack-clacked around the first turn.

First Impressions

The first and only thing notifying visitors that they are viewing something other than a Hooverville was a banner lashed between two telephone poles. (This is visible from behind in one of the photos above.) A banana-yellow sign sagged down in a wrinkled catenary curve. The first letters were obscured behind a frump of wrinkles where the poorly tied ropes had failed to keep their moorings.


The trolley car turned again, smoother this time.

Scared Mother

"Mommy, mommy, what is that?" A little girl's voice piped up. I recognized the hint of eastern accent second-generation Americans often acquire. I saw a Persian woman sitting there. She said nothing, but looked concerned.

Noticing my attention, she asked me, "What are they doing?"

"They are fools," I said. "They have no idea what they are doing. They are protesting Wall Street, they think. Really, they are the tool for things they know nothing about."

"What is that?" She asked. She looked toward her daughter, and grabbed a smaller boy in the aisle. Once he was pulled into her lap, she asked again, "Why are they there?"

"They are mirroring Occupy Wall Street," I said. Her face looked blank. "They are protesting capitalism," I continued. She asked what the word capitalism means. I told her it is the idea that a person can work hard and make money. I said capitalism is the idea that the money a person earns is their own and they can invest it, give it away, live a comfortable life, or whatever they want to do with it, it is theirs to decide.

"Well," the lady said (her grammar was perfect), "We will just let them know that we are just tourists and we are not violent so they won't harm us."

*Note (July,2013) There is an irony that this Middle Eastern woman was present. Similar tools executed the "Arab Spring" uprisings. Those moves were all prophesied years prior. The woman who foresaw the revolutions was shown the true force behind them: the Satanists (often called the NWO, or TPTB). She also said that the governments they would receive after the overthrows would be worse than what they cast off- and the people would regret their actions.

The Camp

At the south end of Herman Park, I crossed the street and shot some photos.

The first thing I saw was a man covered in a mustard yellow, lilting blanket. He was completely covered, with his head on the downhill side of a concrete wheelchair access ramp. Above him on the slope was a makeshift tent of black plastic. As I looked at the sloppy, low-profile construction, a grizzled left hand reached down below the rim of plastic at a corner of the tent. Weather-cracked, a long period of not washing had left dark matter to fill the cracks.

The majority of the tents were multi-person tents, the ones that say "five man tent" on the box on the shelf at Wal-Mart, or in the "outdoorsman" catalog that targets city-dwelling weekend campers. You can stand and change in this variety of tent.

Green, yellow, and red tents covered the green of the park from the sidewalk on the Emarcadero side to the sidewalk on the opposite side, Spear Street.

Occupy San Francisco

Occupy San Francisco camp, looking toward the Bay from the south end of Herman Park
Occupy San Francisco camp, looking toward the Bay from the south end of Herman Park | Source


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    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 6 years ago from West Virginia

      MFM, a well written and illustrated document you have here. I have heard few details about these protest and I really don't know much of the politics behind it. I heard about the one in NY and they had some real crazy demands. I never knew they would be imaged. A great report MFM. Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Have a good day and God Bless.

    • claptona profile image

      John D Wilson 6 years ago from Earth

      Hey Man,

      Thanks for sharing what you viewed in San Fran - another spot of wasted energy accomplishing nothing. Wal-Mart Tents, one of the slimiest corporations in business these days - Wal-Mart. I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart.

      They should get the rest of the Gratetful Dead band to play for them, carry flowers around and say drop out ad turn on man......

      Oh, right, that was tried in the 60's and failed.

      OWS has wasted months to accomplish zilch.


      John D. Wilson

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 6 years ago from America

      OWstreetes are a joke! They are nasty vermon the rest of us should not be subject too! Make them go outside the city limits and live like the dogs they are!

    • Man from Modesto profile image

      Man from Modesto 6 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

      They do not have a permit. The mayor is supporting their right to protest, but is talking with them to relocate outside the business district.

    • tamarawilhite profile image

      Tamara Wilhite 6 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      Does Occupy SF have a permit to use the space they are in? It seems like everyone else needs a permit for a simple gathering, and Occupy San Francisco has tents, overnight stays, etc.