Before it was over early Sunday, demonstrators had broken into City Hall, pelted police with rocks, and were thrice turned back from establishing a new headquarters. Police responded with tear gas, flash grenades, bean bag bullets and, at times, excessive force. By days end, more than 300 people were arrested. Several injuries were reported, involving both police and protesters.
Judge Breall refused to modify the order, stating that she found no change in circumstances in the week since the order was first imposed; that she saw no reason to depart from the usual domestic violence court procedures of separating alleged abusers from their alleged victims.
When asked how Mirkarimi’s family is doing, McElroy said, “Every night his son, Theo, asks for ‘Daddy.’ This is tearing the family apart, doing more damage than good. Isn’t it supposed to be the exact opposite of what family court is about?”
The ceremony was simple, but the celebrants were remarkable. No less than the Episcopal Bishop of California, Marc Andrus, and the Dean of Grace Cathedral, Jane Shaw, presided over the service. In attendance included Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Attorney General Kamala Harris, State Senator Mark Leno, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, Supervisor Eric Mar, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and former Mayor Art Agnos.
The day was organized by Occupy SF and numerous other groups. It started before sunrise, with sometimes overlapping demonstrations focusing on corporate greed, foreclosures, war and immigration crackdowns. Demonstrators noted their connections, such as profits from building incarceration facilities. There were a few breaks, but for the most part the rain was constant.
Protesters also decried the role that the Supreme Court case Citizens United, now two years old, has played in pulling representative democracy out of the grasp of ordinary citizens. As many as 2,000 protesters took part in all of the activities. Thirteen people were arrested in actions at Wells Fargo and Bank of America.
Threaded throughout the Financial District, Occupy affinity groups engaged in various forms of non-violent activity such as chaining themselves with lock boxes to all the entrances to Wells Fargo’s headquarters on California Street, staging a rally at the “bankers heart” sculpture at the foot of the Bank of America building, performing guerrilla theater as military personnel arresting “terrorists” (American citizens), and marching from Justin Herman Plaza throughout the financial district.
Prosecutors allege Mirkarimi hurt his wife during an argument in the presence of their two-year old son and told her not to discuss it with anybody.
A Guatemala-born immigrant first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2008, Campos was joined on the steps of City Hall by as many as 100 supporters including several colleagues on the Board as well as several labor leaders.
A place was symbolically set for beloved labor leader, Walter Johnson, who passed away on January 12 following a heart attack. An enlarged photo of Johnson (taken by Linda Post) “sat” at the head table along with Mayor Ed Lee, newly-appointed D5 Supervisor Christina Olague, Assemblymember Fiona Ma, and SFLC Executive Director Tim Paulson. Various speakers recalled the Poor People’s Campaign, Dr. King’s last project, that highlighted our nation’s economic disparities while continuing to confront racism, militarism, and a self-centered society.
Mirkarimi was formally charged with alleged domestic violence, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness, stemming from an incident on New Year’s Eve involving Mirkarimi and his wife, Eliana Lopez.
It is unknown what exactly transpired at the couple’s residence on December 31st. The incident was first reported to police by the couple’s neighbor, Ivory Madison, on January 4th. According to evidence documented by Madison, and later seized by police, Lopez received a bruise on her right arm during the alleged incident.
The world community is forming, the borders that stand between nations are dissolving as the evolutionary forces of human consciousness awaken to the possibility of sustainable communities. Corporations are the usurpers who cross borders to exploit labor and the environment, buying off corrupt politicians to reap their profits, while families are being ripped apart by deportations that stop people from exercising their rights to a decent living.
Lopez, who denies domestic violence occurred, was spotted in attendance at the press conference wearing dark sunglasses. It is unclear why she was in attendance, but her attorney, Robert Waggener, told the SFApeal that Lopez “was on her way to see her husband and saw the press conference, protest, whatever you want to call it, and stopped to sit and watch it for a minute or two. That’s what happened.”
What underlies the Citizens United decision is the assumption that corporations are natural persons within the meaning of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution and therefore, have First Amendment rights. Corporate personhood dates back to the controversial 1886 Supreme Court decision in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad. Although the Supreme Court supposedly did not make a direct ruling on the question of “corporate personhood,” the misleading notes of a clerk finding corporate personhood were incorporated in the Court’s decision. Whether this is myth or reality doesn’t matter at this point. This result was a Supreme Court precedent finding that a corporation is a “natural person.”
About 100 demonstrators blocked access to a Bank of America branch in the Excelsior District to call attention to unfair lending practices.