Occupy Wall Street comes to SF

Activists protest on Wall Street on Sept. 24, demonstrations that have spread to San Francisco and other cities.
Marnie Joyce

View our full coverage of the OccupySF movement here.

As the Occupy Wall Street demonstration enters its 12th day in New York City – and as progressive activists protest in cities across the country – Bay Area residents are preparing for a mass mobilization on the streets of San Francisco tomorrow afternoon (Thurs/29), targeting financial institutions and other entities that they blame for the economic plight of the average American.

While the mainstream media has alternatively tried to ignore the uprising or scoffed at its wide range of complaints, the activists involved say it boils down to the powerful doing well at the expense of the powerless, and actively widening that divide. And the manifestations are many: layoffs and employee benefit cuts by profitable corporations, a worsening foreclosure crisis and lack of affordable housing, small businesses that can't get access to capital, political corruption that scuttled real fiscal reforms, deep cuts to government services made worse by the right-wing's refusal to tax rich corporations and individuals, shady corporate tax avoidance schemes, an education system under assault, refusal to seriously address global warming and economic injustice, and a litany of problems created by the same small group of power brokers.

“It's along the lines of saying: Look, these people are screwing us in every way they can,” Alysabeth Alexander, the political director of Servie Employees International Union Local 1021, told us.

That union and many others are part of the broad coalition – a group that includes university students, social service providers, religious leaders, economic justice advocates, the online collective Anonymous, and others – that is organizing tomorrow's protests in San Francisco, which will peak between 3-6 pm at selected targets around the Financial District, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, and Goldman Sachs.

"Big banks crashed our economy and destroyed our communities. Budget cuts threaten our schools, libraries, and social services. We bailed out the banks. Now they need to pay,” organizers wrote in an event invite on Facebook.

One of those organizers is Sarah Page, who has been helping coordinate various Occupy San Francisco events, which begin tomorrow with a 7:30 am “wake-up call” at the “night camp” at Steuart Street near Embarcadero and continue through a 4 pm demonstration outside the Federal Reserve Building and into the evening.

Her group's week of protest began last Saturday with a General Assembly in Union Square and will end with another one there this Saturday at noon. "There's more people camping and they've gotten very organized. Every day it seems like there's more people showing up,” she told us. “There aren't really leaders, the people at the camp are really organizing themselves."

The week of protests, dubbed the Refund California Week of Action, has also been organized and chronicled by the website Make Banks Pay California, which says that this week's protests throughout the Bay Area will be followed up next week by protests in Los Angeles.

Will the protests that began on Wall Street and trickled into cities around the country catch fire in the same way those in the Arab Spring have? I suppose that depends on who shows up and what happens tomorrow. But we at the Guardian will be out on the streets, chronicling the action with words and images here and tweets here or here, so follow along or join the moment.

Yael Chanoff contributed to this report.



Not much hyperbole there.

The trouble is, it's not Spring, it's Fall, will soon be Winter, and I have a sneaky feeling these protest might wash away in the first of the rains. Protesters these days have no stamina.

I'll give this about as long as those BART protests that were massive for about 15 minutes.

Can't blame the SFBG for trying to build this up though.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

Paul, I just wanted to say that people here in the Midwest, specifically, Occupy Chicago, have been enduring non-stop rain since their assemblies began last week. I'm not so sure this is going to go away just because of adverse weather...at least not here in the parts of the country where we are used to a cold and wet Fall weather. Also, I wanted to add that many are beginning to dub these movements as being the, "American Autumn". I hope you'll get out and lend support in the Bay Area.

Posted by CharmingRiot on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

in this great country of ours. It's called democracy.

Trying to force your agenda on others through force is called terrorism.

It's important to understand that distinction. I have nothing against you quietly protesting in the background. But be careful you do not overstep the mark.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

We don't have a democracy, we have an oligarchy. Too many politicians are being bought. The people with all the money, the 1%, bought the system and made it legal to bribe elected officials with unlimited campaign contributions and quid pro quo "revolving door" favors via the corporations that they own.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

Why don't you rewrite an improved version?

I'll wait.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 7:54 pm

paul, you naive little boy. pull your head out of your ass.

Posted by justink on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

the bush family has wiped there asses with the constitution for several years now paul there is no more habeaus corpus etc.

Posted by Guestmichael ess on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

You are 100% correct. We are edging perilously close toward becoming a plutocracy.

All the people who sit on their haunches and predict failure operate from the comfortable vantage point of apathy. They are the saddest folks of all.

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." --Bishop Desmond Tutu

If the suits win, those sideliners are the people who will become their lackeys.

If the others win, the sideliners will jump in line and pretend that they predicted that success all along.

At the very least, my name will be in the book reserved for those who put myself out there.

Posted by Guest Rhosyn on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

That should read "...put themselves out there."

Posted by Guest Rhosyn on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 1:27 am

well said

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2011 @ 12:18 am

You really believe the representatives of this "democracy" are in the best interest of the American people (majority)?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

You should be aware that this is a national movement that is not being reported by the major media outlets.

Google "Occupy Wall street"

The only people "overstepping the mark" are the police. Their tactics of using OC spray to punish protestors and their targeting of people with cameras and video recording for arrests is no accident and is intended to break the back of this movement before it spreads to more cities.

It is too late for that - it has already spread and they miscalculated, their tactics and what has clearly been a media blackout of the event has convinced many that it is time to bring voice to the outrage of the American public - the 99%.

The fact that the major media is not covering it is irrelevant - within a few weeks people will be able to step outside their homes and see for themselves because it will be in their cities as well.

As for your warning you should be aware: I think it is the police that ought to show restraint; there are a tremendous number of combat veterans in the demographic that is most impacted by the decline in the economy. They are not only in a poor job market they have seen trillions of public wealth transferred to private hands of a tiny fraction of the nation. The rich did not only steal the wealth of their own generation their greed mortgaged the future wealth of the next two generations.

These combat veterans will not drop to their knees and cover their heads in the face of brutality. I know - because I am a combat veteran myself.

The peace and cooperation the protestors are currently showing is a social contract between them and the police. However, the idea that the police have control is an illusion. They only retain control as long as the protestors comply. Once the police violate the social contract and force a response from the protestors the police have only one option - retreat and hope the rage dies down before there is nowhere left to fallback.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 12:22 am

Protest is not terrorism. What nonsense.

Posted by MikeinSF on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 6:45 am

then it's just a "protest". No harm done.

But reading some of this rhetoric, there is clearly a desire by some to try and interrupt the operations of Banks. Since you're clearly opposed to any use of coercion or confrontation, there is perhaps little to worry about. But you might seek to ensure that your decent sense of moderation here is not violated by any of your colleagues.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 7:07 am

Paul - I'm thinking with your comments you're probably a super-rich banker or something along that lines - you're one of the people who might have to start sharing or thinking about others soon - too bad for you heh? If not - I don't see why you'd be protesting so loudly - quietly protesting in the background? Yah, that'll get us far. Wake up! You are part of the problem.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 7:43 am

This freedom hating troll obviously jacks it to fantasies of wealth and power that he knows he has zero chance of actually attaining.
This is the end of the line for poor PaulT- imagining himself some sort of persuasive writer while filling the SFBG comments sections with his lies and Tea Party wackoff binges.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 9:14 am

But as we know, most people who vote Republican are poor. People can support policies that lead to wealth creation even if in their own personal case, it didn't work out.

And of course the wealthy do share - 50% of all taxes paid are paid by the richest 2% of the population. In addition, they give generously and the richest ones set up foundations like Gates and Buffett.

Any ideology that makes a scapegoat out of the successful will not prevail in America.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 9:52 am

"50% of all taxes paid are paid by the richest 2% of the population"?

Err, where does this number come from?

Posted by Perkins on Sep. 30, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

The IRS, look it up.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

We've already seen posts showing clearly on this thread that you are full of shit and the actual net tax paid by the rich is far lower.

Posted by Aragorn on Oct. 29, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

Paul T,
You sound just like my poor Mormon brother who defends the rich while most people in America are suffering to some degree or another. The past thirty years have shown that those with the most money can get away with the biggest crimes and they cost the poor who can't afford to defend themselves. Heavier workloads for poor workers, 39 hour work weeks so that there has to be no medical benefits. Students being ripped off by loan agencies and corruption in textbook sales. There is too much proof out there to deny that the masses are getting the screws put to them it is about time they started saying enough is enough.

Posted by Guest The Banks have committed Fraud with impunity. Get it? on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 8:16 am

Paul, it's called direct action- and when the government doesn't listen to the people, what are the people supposed to do- I guess Thomas Jefferson should have protested the English quietly in the background. How do you think the workers of American got the 8 hour workday?...through quietly protesting in the background? I understand that you're comfortable being a p*ssy, but don't chastise people for standing up and getting involved.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

Somebody last night said this was more like Vietnam.

Any chance of some perspective here?

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

Don't worry, just keep paying your taxes like a good little serf. In this "democracy" government has only continued to expand and increase taxes on us as well as take away our freedoms (see Patriot Act).

Democracy?? - Take a look at how Bush Jr. was elected the first time. Take a look at the 2 unsanctioned, illegal wars that were forced without our democratic consent. Hundreds of thousands of innocents have been killed in the middle east by the U.S. government and we are partially responsible because we acquiesce and fuel it with our tax money. We all have blood on our hands.

The military industrial complex that runs the government are the true terrorists...

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

progressive and all this will change.

Posted by meatlock on Sep. 30, 2011 @ 12:23 am

a shell of a democracy delusion facade matrix
wake up you will be surprized at the changes in your consciousness

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2011 @ 9:03 am

This is no longer a democracy buddy. Its not even a nation anymore. Its called a Corperation.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2011 @ 1:31 pm

"Be carefull you don't overstep the mark"; A statement like that is fear-inducing terrorism. Realize your self.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2011 @ 11:55 am

Paul T. -- who's your lobbyist?

BP has heaps of lobbyists. Goldman Sachs has lobbyists and tons of its alums working in many parts of government. ExxonMobil has armies of lobbists. Philip Morris has battalions of 'em.

I don't have a lobbyist. You probably don't either.

Who do you think Congress listens to?

Posted by Wombat on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 11:24 am

That's why he spends so much time here, attempting to mold public opinion and inject doubt.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 11:50 am

Who would pay to influence the half dozen people who actually read this blog?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

Oh, I'm definitely not a lobbyist, because, well, because...
well that just would make NO sense at all.
See? Proved it!

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

makes the allegation. What ya got?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

Greetings Chicago,Have some posters I'd like to send out to you.From the First Days of Rage, 1969 Chicago.

Posted by Kevin Kelly on Sep. 30, 2011 @ 10:02 am

The could probably use a wash anyway.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

Actually, the appropriate term is "Arab AWAKENING" as noted in The Nation.

And that's what this is. It's an awakening. A beginning. There's no need for blame, and there sure is no need to think about the weather.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2011 @ 11:14 am

if you are not with us you are on the side of the oppressors
pls do not be a naysayer
join us you will be one more person who wants change
in sincerity

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2011 @ 8:59 am

As of January 1, 2011, it is a misdemeanor in California to impersonate another individual online, punishable by fines up to $1,000 and/or up to a year in jail.

Eric Brooks is my real name and I will not hesitate to defend it from criminal online impersonation.

If you continue, I will contact law enforcement, and I will do everything in my power to see to it that you are prosecuted.

I'm dead serious. No joke.

This is the only warning that I am going to give you.

Here's the text of the law:


Readers please note, the following post was not written by me. (SF Guardian staff, please remove the post. It is illegal. The post url is http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2011/09/28/occupy-wall-street-spreads-san-f... )

"Yeah, me too. I've been hijacked too.

I suspect it's Mossad.

Or the CIA, FBI, KGB, MI5 . . .


Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 01, 2011 @ 6:54 pm"

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 01, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

see the expression on a cop's face when you report the crime of someone impersonating you on an anonymous internet blog.

Posted by PaulT on Oct. 02, 2011 @ 4:52 am

For once I'm going to post to you straight, as a real person, not a blog opponent, and I expect you to take this with that level of seriousness.

This is not a game. Impersonating real people online, is serious fucking business. It can get -badly- out of control and has in the past led to harassment, real life stalking, assaults, murder, and suicides.

Impersonating real people online is therefore not something to be fucked with in any way shape or form. And because of that I will not mess around on this. If I see anyone impersonating me, or any other real person on this blog site, I will immediately contact the necessary law enforcement agencies to make sure that the impersonator is aggressively prosecuted.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 02, 2011 @ 9:57 am

but you just sit and type and comment, nothing.

Posted by Guest 111 on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

because the sun shines every day. I think the video of Captain Bologna spraying mace into the eyes of those women really kicked off the revolution.

Posted by Adam Michael Luebke on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

This pro-establishment operation's is hilarious.

The leadership wines and dines with establishment democrats, then the political operatives are out screaming about the way business is done, as they parasite off of it at every turn.

Posted by meatlock on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

Momentum is building- Los Angeles will Occupy this Friday and San Diego will be joining the following Friday. Chicago is already in action and other cities around the country are in planning phases. Americans are not feeling there voices heard by elected officials or the media and hitting the streets is our final option. Check out www.roarmag.org for good articles
All Day All Week Occupy Wall St !!!!!!!

Posted by Guest Ryan on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

So these social services that are under attack. You realise they're the problem right?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

schools are so over rated these days...

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

We have an incredible opportunity in front of us to support those that are speaking out and to communicate the stories that our main stream media is not covering. Did you know that Iceland recently re-wrote their constitution with the help of social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter? This was done using horizontal democracy which is what I feel we are all trying to develop. I think it's really important in times like these that we look for positive examples that we can use as a model for our own necessary changes.

Here is a blog that documented the process that Iceland went through socially, economically, and politically that resulted in a brand new constitution.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 5:51 pm
Posted by PaulT on Sep. 28, 2011 @ 6:27 pm