Did you hear the latest from Occupy SF? A camper set fire to his tent because his neighbors were making too much noise? Point for the 1 percent, who are probably chuckling all the way to the, well, bank this morning while you're mending another black eye.
|Dang. You should have seen the other guy. |
Was it inevitable? Perhaps the Occupy encampments have an unavoidable image problem: When your protest is sustained by people willing to camp out night after night, and is open to anyone, you draw folks who are used to this way of life, and let's face it, they aren't the kind of people who play by society's rules. An Occupy camp doesn't have a bouncer to boot out problem tenants. There's no landlord checking criminal records.
But this utopia of self-policing isn't working out so well. While we were at the San Francisco camp yesterday talking to Occupiers about whether they were going to take the city up on its offer to move to the Mission, many of the campers themselves hoped the move would filter out some of the homeless, mentally ill, or drug-addled people squatting at the camp in Justin Herman Plaza.
|Victim of a Porta-Potti loon. |Then there was the duo in these photos who trotted up to talk to this reporter in their midst. They seemed to be buddies, but spotting their obvious injuries, We asked them if they'd attempted to kick each other's asses recently. And did they have some interesting tales.
The first guy said that on one recent, blustery night, he came across a tent that had blown over at the camp. He assumed no one was inside, but spotted a kitten on a leash among the tent's rubble. He grabbed the leash, and thought he'd act as the kitten's guardian for a while, when "I realized there was someone rustling around in the tent." Suddenly, a man got to his feet and punched the dude in the face. He assumes he had on a ring, hence the gigantic scab on his cheek.
And the guy in the blue stocking cap sporting a shiner? He said that he got up in the middle of the night for a quick dash to the Porta-Potty. He claims he was just waiting outside for one to free up, when the guy who'd been on the john dashed out and clocked him in the face.
Of course, we can't corroborate these stories. We'll just have to take their word for it. What's clear is this is no Summer of Love, and Occupy's message risks being drowned out by a cacophony of tent arsons, kitty fights, and potty punches.Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF