Saturday, December 10, 2011

Union Leader Breaks Promise to Occupy San Francisco

Mayor Ed Lee finally evicted the Occupy San Francisco encampment at Justin Herman Plaza earlier this week, and the media coverage of the early morning raid and clean up was moderate compared to other Occupy evictions. I checked a lot of the independent and corporate news attention paid to the raid and saw no mentions about hundreds, or even dozens, of union members present or arrested.

Back in November, the Bay Guardian's blog posted a laudatory piece about the alleged commitment of unionists when the eviction was imminent and a huge promise was made:

Tim Paulson, director of the San Francisco Labor Council, just told me that he's got as many as 500 union members on alert to stand with the OccupySF encampment if the city attempts to evict the protesters. The Labor Council has put together a communications system to let members who have volunteered to help know when a showdown with the police is coming, and the volunteers are ready to spend as much as 24 hours at Justin Herman Plaza, and if necessary, in jail.

"We mobilized for last night, but nothing happened," he said. "We're in a state of constant vigilance." ...

I was a tad skeptical reading how Paulson (pictured) and his members were going to be able to decide for themselves how long they would be incarcerated. Somehow they, not their jailers or judges, would say if they were to be held for four or twenty-four or longer hours for their civil disobedience.

What happened to that promise of hundreds of union supporters on behalf of Occupy San Francisco? The Bay Guardian has done no followup about Paulson boast and I hope the alternative weekly gives readers a report about why the Labor Council broke its commitment.

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