SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Protesters are promising to re-occupy San Francisco after police descended on their encampment at Justin Herman Plaza early Wednesday morning and cleared out some 100 protesters and their tents.
Wednesday evening, protesters took to the streets, marching on Market Street before returning to Justin Herman Plaza. About three dozen protesters sat down on the bocce ball courts and one tent was erected. Officers surrounded the group but did not immediately move in and more protesters are standing on the edges of the plaza, watching. At noon, about 100 occupiers and their supporters rallied in front of the Federal Reserve building, stopping traffic on two blocks of Market Street.
"We need a thousand people to go back and repopulated Justin Herman Plaza," protester Richard Kreidler said. "I dont know that's what we're going to do, but that's obviously a conversation item."
The group then marched around Justin Herman Plaza, taunting police guarding their former encampment.
Two people were arrested during the afternoon protest.
Earlier Wednesday at about 1:30 a.m., police, sheriff's deputies, firefighters and public works crews converged on the 2-month-old camp. They gave them five minutes to clear out. Most did but police arrested 70 occupiers and other supporters who didn't.
"The cops came through, they were destroying everything in their path, there were a bunch of people trying to get out," protester Dena Cook said.
One occupier says he hurt his head when police pushed his face to the ground.
"I was told to leave and I just told them I wouldn't comply because I was a peaceful protester," Red said.
Public works crews worked until dawn, cleaning up the park, hauling off debris while officers ringed the plaza.
Chief Greg Suhr said police moved in because the camp had become too dangerous for the occupiers and the downtown neighborhood.
"This part of the 99 percent moved that part of the 99 percent to give the other part of the 99 percent some relief," Suhr said.
Mayor Ed Lee said he had no choice but to order the police action after occupiers representatives stopped their ongoing dialogue with the city.
"We still wanted to talk with them but because these discussions were cut off, we felt this was the right time," Lee said.