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Police set up barricades at ‘Occupy San Francisco’ site

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Police erected barricades on Thursday around a San Francisco park where hundreds of anti-Wall Street protesters braced for eviction two days after failing to agree to a city plan for relocating their camp.

Occupy San Francisco is believed to be the largest of a dwindling number of West Coast protest settlements aligned with the 2-month-old national movement protesting economic inequality, after a larger group in Los Angeles was evicted earlier in the week.

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The purpose of the fencing put up around Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco’s Financial District was not immediately clear, but most police officers left after it was installed, and a raid on the encampment there did not seem imminent.

Shortly after police installed the barricades along three sides of the park, protesters bandied together to haul away the fencing from one of those sides as more than a dozen officers stood by watching. Protesters then chanted “Cops go home.”

A block and a half away, demonstrators at a smaller gathering near the Federal Reserve building blocked traffic on the city’s main downtown thoroughfare and moved fencing set up at the site, leading to a scuffle with officers.

Demonstrators have been gathered at Justin Herman Plaza for two months within view of major bank branches and upscale restaurants.

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San Francisco officials had offered a plan to move the protesters to the site of a former school, but the demonstrators failed to reach agreement on how to respond to the proposed deal.

On Wednesday, a city negotiator told demonstrators that officials wanted tents gone from the current site by noon on Thursday, but stopped short of issuing a deadline ultimatum.

The latest confrontation between police and demonstrators left some uneasy including Taylor Klahn, 29, from Los Angeles, who walked around the camp wearing a large backpack.

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“I want all my stuff on me. I want to be mobile if they do raid,” he said as he nervously eyed officers on the fringe of the park. “If they give us a choice of whether to leave or get arrested, I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do.”

In an overnight operation early on Wednesday, police in Los Angeles raided an Occupy camp in that city, pulling down tents and arresting nearly 300 people. Meanwhile the threat of a raid in Philadelphia prompted protesters to vacate a camp there.

(Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Steve Gorman and Cynthia Johnston)

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Source: Reuters US Online Report Domestic News

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

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‘Megalomaniacal, paranoid, and psychopathic’: Economist sounds the alarm on Trump’s ‘bottomless malevolence’

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Economist Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, has written a frightening warning about President Donald Trump's "paranoid and psychopathic" leadership style, and he says it could have disastrous consequences for the world if he wins a second term.

In an essay published at progressive news website Common Dreams, Sachs argues that it would be a grave mistake to treat Trump like a cynical politician, when in reality he is an impulsive and vindictive narcissist who acts on his angry whims.

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Trump baselessly accuses Democratic lawmaker of ‘violence’?? in insane tweet

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President Donald Trump, in a strangely giddy and unhinged tweet on Tuesday baselessly accused Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of “violence.”

“Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long,” Trump tweeted. “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!”

It’s unclear what the president was referring to when he accused the Michigan Congresswoman of violence, but his other remarks appear to be directed at a press conference she held Monday.

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Trump’s Labor Department wants to ‘weaponize’ right-wing discrimination and bigotry

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Just in case you wanted to believe that the Trump administration isn’t on a campaign to trample rights for Americans, here comes the Labor Department to shove a grapefruit in your face.

Labor officials have made public a new rule—no Congress, needed, thank you—to allow companies contracting with the federal government who are “religion-exercising organizations” to ignore federal laws protecting the rights of gays, transsexuals, and who knows who else in hiring or workplace practices. Religious employers and companies with “closely held” religious ties now will be shielded from claims of bias in court or other law enforcement actions, says the rule.

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