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Mon Jan 23, 2012, 03:30 PM

success at occupy wall street west


It was Jan­u­ary 20th, one day be­fore the two-year an­niver­sary of the in­fa­mous Cit­i­zens United court rul­ing. De­spite cold and rainy weather, Oc­cupy Wall Street West filled out San Fran­sisco’s fi­nan­cial dis­trict in large num­bers.

Thou­sands of peo­ple or­ga­nized to­gether to protest against preda­tory bank evic­tion and fore­clo­sure prac­tices, and de­manded an end to state recog­ni­tion of cor­po­ra­tions as peo­ple. The demon­stra­tions tar­geted for-profit cor­po­ra­tions and banks in the area which have proved dis­rup­tive to the com­mu­nity and try­ing to send the mes­sage that “enough is enough!” Na­tionofChange was on the scene and suc­cess­fully met its fundrais­ing goal to pro­vide $10,000.00 to the event for food and other es­sen­tial sup­plies.

Pro­test­ers went on-site to fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in the area to de­mand an end to fore­clo­sures in the area, they demon­strated by mak­ing human chains, chant­ing as a group, and even bind­ing them­selves to the doors of the Wells Fargo Cor­po­rate Head­quar­ters on Mont­gomery Street. At least eleven peo­ple were ar­rested as a re­sult of the demon­stra­tions or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sonia Alexan­der-White, com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor for Na­tionofChange was among those ar­rested. Mrs. White de­scribed the ex­pe­ri­ence as a both a “hu­mil­i­at­ing and eye-open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence” and stressed a be­lief that law en­force­ment had been overly ag­gres­sive and that their tac­tics seemed more prone to cre­ate prob­lems than solve them. In ad­di­tion to being de­tained, Sonia was grabbed by her coat by an of­fi­cer and thrown out of the way with­out warn­ing. Ag­gres­sive law en­force­ment was a com­mon sight. One man had his iPad bro­ken in the street by an of­fi­cer with­out rea­son. At least a dozen peo­ple march­ing on Van Ness Av­enue at Geary were doused in pep­per spray. Oc­cu­piers suc­cess­fully shut down bank branches in the Bernal, Ex­cel­sior, and Mis­sion areas.

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