During a brief clash with police, Occupy SF protesters were beaten with batons, and sprayed with pepper spray, after an energetic day of protests in the city's financial district, a federal courthouse, and rallies.
Hundreds of Occupy activists clashed with police and stormed a vacant hotel in San Francisco on Friday, capping a day of protests in the city's financial district and separate anti-Wall Street rallies at federal courthouses across the country.
The rallies were seen as a bid by the Occupy Wall Street movement to reenergize protests against economic inequality and excesses of the U.S. financial system weeks after demonstrators were driven from tent camps in a wave of evictions nationwide.
The raucous takeover of the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco's upscale Pacific Heights neighborhood followed a march from downtown by about 1,000 demonstrators chanting, "Whose streets? Our streets!" and "Cops go home!"
The protesters were met by a phalanx of police in riot gear who had set up barricades at the front entrance to the U-shaped hotel complex, which stands several stories tall and takes up an entire city block.
The crowd surged toward the barriers to try to remove them and briefly scuffled with police, who jabbed protesters with batons and doused them with pepper spray, forcing demonstrators to retreat. Police said demonstrators hurled rocks, bottles and bricks at them, with two officers suffering minor injuries.
One man lay on the ground surrounded by fellow protesters yelling that he had been struck in the head. Demonstrators regrouped to march around the block, some breaking windows of a nearby car dealership, as police largely dispersed.
The following video shows the protesters as they occupy the Cathedral Hill Hotel. Note the protesters who take to the roof of the building to hang a banner. Via KCBS: