Coalition Organizer Alix Tonnison said there will be a strike on May Day because management has left them with no other choice. He thanked all the groups who have offered to stand with the bridge workers and asked them to attend their May Day picket lines instead of attempting to shutdown the bridge.
As many as 500 demonstrators took aim at Wells Fargo over its corporate policies Tuesday, blocking entrances to the Merchants Exchange building in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District in an attempt to disrupt the bank’s annual meeting of shareholders.
The arrests on trespassing and other misdemeanor charges at the two-story building at 888 Turk Street went smoothly according San Francisco police, with demonstrators calling it police repression. As the sun set, about 100 OccupySF demonstrators marched from Civic Center to the Hall of Justice, chanting against police, bringing food and collecting information for legal help as their comrades were released. A few dozen officers in riot gear behind metal barricades watched before demonstrators dissipated.
As San Francisco police looked on, as many as two-hundred occupiers entered the vacant building – located at 888 Turk Street – owned by the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
The building location will not be disclosed, organizers say, until OccupySF marchers arrive at the secret location following a 4 pm rally at Union Square. Only a few organizers are aware of the building location, an organizer told Fog City Journal, and stressed the direct action will be non-violent and will not result in property damage.
Local organizers declare that public education is a social good, and the cornerstone of a democratic society, a vibrant economy, and the social and intellectual development of every individual. Unwilling to rob Peter to pay Paul, the organizers believe that essential social services provide a crucial safety net for the most vulnerable members of society, and therefore serve as a measure of society’s moral standard. The broad-based coalition of members of the 99% demand that decision-makers in Sacramento tax the rich, pass the Millionaires Tax, pass the Oil Tax to Fund Education, and reject regressive taxes. Additionally, Occupy San Francisco is picking up the rising national call to forgive the student loan debt that threatens this country’s future.
Speakers, including some who have been incarcerated, talked about reform of the California’s three-strikes sentencing law, the mental punishment of solitary confinement and support for prisoners undertaking hunger strikes to protest conditions inside prisons. They included members of the San Quentin Six, prisoners who faced charges after the 1971 shootings that killed Black Panther George Jackson along with guards and other prisoners. Shane Bauer, one of the three Americans captured in Iran in 2009, talked about the hunger strikes and denial of family letters in his time there.
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.
This Saturday the 14th, evicted tenants and foreclosed homeowners will tell their stories of the impact that bank’s greedy actions have had on them. Banks will be put on notice: You Will Be Held Accountable! Actions will culminate in a January 20th shutdown of San Francisco’s Financial District.