Live Blog: Occupy SF protesters on the move, blocking traffic as they march up Market Street
By Chris De Benedetti, Cecily Burt, Kristin J. Bender, and Paul Rosynsky
Oakland Tribune | San Jose Mercury News
Occupy protesters gathered in San Francisco’s Financial District on Friday as part of daylong events throughout the city. The groups are targeting banks and protesting predatory evictions and foreclosures, as well as corporations as part of ongoing Occupy protests against the nation’s wealthiest individuals.
5:50 p.m. At least 1,000 march from Justin Herman to downtown, jam streets
More than 1,500 people are in front of the Bank of America on Montgomery Street, jamming the sidewalks and streets. California Street is closed because the protesters are marching down the street and no cars can pass. The cars on the side streets that want to cross over California can’t get through. Downtown San Francisco commute traffic is badly snarled as the protesters make their way through the streets. More and more people are arriving. Police in riot gear are lined on some streets but so far aren’t doing anything to stop the march.
5:20 p.m. Flash mob at Justin Herman Plaza
A few dozen people staged a flash mob at Justin Herman Plaza to launch a rally before starting to march to California and Kearney streets, where banks were shut down earlier Friday and more than a dozen arrests were made. That rally is expected to start soon as protesters conclude their speeches in the plaza. After the flash mob, people chanted,
“Now is the time, now is the time,”
and waved signs with the same message.
4:30 p.m. Protesters at Fortress Investments and Bank of America
About three dozen protesters are gathered at Fortress Investments at One Market Street trying to delivery a letter to the company to stop demolition of Parkmerced rent-controlled apartments. Next door at a Bank of America branch at Market and Spear streets five people are tied to the door of the bank, which is now closed. The people were involved in an earlier action with a group called People’s Food Bank of America and their banner with the bank logo in a cornucopia remains at the bank. Their action involved handing out free food.
2:55 p.m. Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi talks to Occupy protesters
At City Hall, embattled San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of domestic violence battery against his wife, praised the Occupy San Francisco crowd but did not discuss his case.
“I think they are courageous people who need to expand their mass and pressure federal and state lawmakers to empower (police to make a judgements about if a foreclose is proper and whether an eviction is necessary),” he said.
1:45 p.m. City Hall foreclosure protest
About 200 protesters at city hall’s Van Ness steps, chanting
“banks got bailed out, we got sold out!”
A man on a bullhorn is sharing his story about losing the family home. Protesters here are vowing to help sit in at his house to prevent Wells Fargo from foreclosing on him in 10 days.
There was a surreal scene earlier, when a nervous bride and groom rushed inside City Hall, oblivious to chanting protesters.
1:30 p.m. Protesters on the move, from court to City Hall
Protesters are covering some ground. They are now on the move to San Francisco City Hall, where they hope to occupy the foreclosure office.
A short time ago, protesters presented a mock constitutional amendment a judge at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, at 7th and Mission streets.
12:30 p.m. Police say 18 protesters arrested
A total of 18 protesters have been cited for trespassing and creating a public safety hazard at Wells Fargo Bank, according to police. Another was taken into custody on suspicion of stealing an officer’s nightstick.
11:45 a.m. Police order protesters to disperse on Montgomery and California
Traffic in every direction reopens after SFPD clears Montgomery and California. Man on bullhorn yells
“We’re fighting for your kids.”
Meanwhile, a businessman in a suit is arguing politics with protester with multiple piercings and tattoos.
11:30 a.m. Police arrest another protester on California Street
Tensions are growing as police just arrested another protester on California Street. The angry crowd chanted “Shame on you” at police. Dozens of San Francisco officers are marching protesters off California. It’s by far the most heated and tense interaction of the day.
Three cable cars were stuck on California while protesters screamed at SFPD.
11 a.m. Police focus on protesters at Wells Fargo entrance
San Francisco police are marching protesters backward down Liedesdorff past Wells Fargo.
officers are saying. Protesters:
“We are unstoppable.”
A short while ago, protesters unfurled an anti-Chevron banner at 345 California St. that reads
“From Richmond to the Rainforest: Rape of the Earth.”
10:45 a.m. Protest grows, Montgomery Street closed
Traffic is closed again on Montgomery between California and Pine streets, where more than 100 (and growing) protesters are in the street, dancing and waving flags and signs. Protesters have set up tables in the middle of the street.
10:15 a.m. BofA, US Bank closed
Protesters have closed traffic on Montgomery Street between Pine and California streets. Two banks located there, Bank of America and US Bank, have closed down. Massive banner reads
‘Wanted: Bank of America for profiteering off people and the planet’
in the middle of Montgomery Street.
9:50 a.m. Employees escorted into Wells Fargo by police
Police took 50 employees away from the Liedesdorff entrance down an alleyway to Kearny Street and then Sacramento and stationed them in the Wayfarer Tavern. Once traffic was closed off, they led the employees from the bar into Wells Fargo office.
9:30 a.m. Six arrested in Financial District
Police arrested about six protesters without incident, shortly after officers in riot gear showed up at the Sacramento Street entrance to Wells Fargo. Protesters were moved away from the entrance. Some business people on a balcony overlooking the scene cheered the protesters.
9 a.m. Protesters block Wells Fargo
More than 200 protesters have blocked Wells Fargo on all four sides, on California, Montgomery, Liedesdorff and Sacramento streets. Dozens of San Francisco officers and a few fire trucks also surround the bank. No arrests yet.
Wells Fargo employees waiting in rain and under awnings on Liedesdorff alley. They don’t look happy.
Protesters are chained to each other in front of Wells Fargo, preventing employees from entering. Bank is closed.
8:30 a.m. Small group protests at federal courthouse in Oakland
It appears the rain has dampened spirits of Occupy Oakland as only about 30 protesters gathered this morning at the federal courthouse in Oakland. The group was standing in a circle holding umbrellas and wearing ponchos singing “We Shall Overcome”. Organizers say more protesters will arrive as the morning turns to afternoon. However, the group plans to leave Oakland for San Francisco at 11 a.m.
6:30 a.m. Protesters begin gathering at Goldman Sachs
It’s rainy and chilly, but protesters keep trickling in to the front of Goldman Sachs at 555 California St., trying to block the entrance. One of the institution’s employees yelled at protesters,
“I need to work!”
as protesters kept shouting
“Don’t go to work!”
The protesters started the day at 6 a.m. in front of Goldman Sachs, some dressed as squid. The costumes are a reference to Rolling Stone magazine writer Matt Taibbi’s description of Goldman Sachs as
“a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.”
One staffer swore at the protesters and a businesswoman from Seattle said
“they are freaks and they should get a job”
as she was diverted to another entrance.
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