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SF Police Remove Tree-Sitting Protesters From Hayes Valley Property

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Seven people were arrested and one was injured early Thursday morning in San Francisco when police used force to evict dozens of tree-sitting protesters occupying a small park in Hayes Valley.

Occupy protesters took over the area known as the Hayes Valley Farm — which was slated for a future condo development—on June 1. The land is located between Franklin and Laguna Streets.

The protesters had built platforms in the trees and set up camp.  Last Friday they were served with a trespass notice; but it wasn't until about 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning when police moved in.

7 arrested 1 injured As SF Police Evict Hayes Valley Protesters

"As the week went on, the camp started getting bigger and it was time to act and do something about it," Sgt. Dennis Toomer, of the SFPD, said.

Forty-four people were living inside the camp and seven people, including three tree-sitters, were arrested. One was injured after falling out of a tree and taken to the hospital. Police said there were only minor injuries.

By 7 a.m. public works crews were using cherry pickers and chain saws to remove tree platform and clear out the camp site but protesters told KCBS that they vowed to return.

"We renamed it Gezi Gardens, in solidarity with what's going in Istanbul and around Turkey, so we plan to occupy the land," Graciela, a protester who chose only to use her first name, said referencing Gezi Park in Istanbul, Turkey where massive protests began in that country two weeks ago.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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