I didn't expect the Chron to go all sweetness and light about OccupySF. The Chronicle seldom reports positively on local protests.
The calm followed an alarm on Wednesday night when hundreds turned up to meet any effort by the city to remove the encampment.
I guess that interim Mayor (and current candidate) Ed Lee didn't want to be the target of the kind of storm of civic condemnation from all sides that Oakland Mayor
I had some time on Friday to drop by OccupySF.
Certainly the folks at the encampment appear organized and friendly. With a little initiative, it wouldn't be hard to find a way to get involved.
Somebody had brought in some wrapped sandwiches. Folks lined up quietly.
Elsewhere earnest conversations were underway.
This explanatory note was the most concrete expression of animus between Occupiers and the city authorities. The bathrooms are private donations, not help from the city. They were being pumped out as I arrived.
Half a block down Market Street in front of the Federal Reserve Bank, a small band reminded passersby why the Occupiers had come to this place.
Having devoted countless hours to working to end current U.S. wars, it was good to see that turning away from wars is one theme here.
I feel precariousness, a mix of anxiety and hope, when I look in on the Occupiers. For the moment, this is a sort of peaceable kingdom, but for how long? What happens when the Pacific storms blow in? What happens after the mayoral election when the city authorities will likely feel more empowered to roust the encampment? Can an embattled motley community keep the focus on the system's failure to work for the 99 percent or will this devolve into a nasty fight about police brutality?
I wouldn't want to live where these folks are; I do my political agitation in other venues. But they make me glad. I'm glad for the Occupiers because they've found a way to bring their awareness of their own exclusion into full view -- and to make common cause with most all the rest of us. I'm glad for the nation because we're finally talking about what matters: how to make a wealthy economy work for all of us, not just the greediest.