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‘Occupy SF’ Protests Flare Up On Market Street; SoCal Protests Grow

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – At least one person was arrested in downtown San Francisco Thursday morning as police moved on protesters who were blocking Market St. in solidarity with the New York City Wall Street protests.  Meanwhile, similar protests were seen in other U.S. cities, with a number of arrests reported at a downtown Los Angeles protest Thursday.

PICTURES: Bay Area Occupy Protests

San Francisco protesters demonstrated through the night after marching through the Financial District Wednesday, but at 2:00 a.m. police decided there was too much debris on the sidewalks, and asked the Department of Public Works to begin clearing it from the front of the Federal Reserve Bank at 101 Market St. This angered the protesters who surrounded DPW trucks in the middle of Market Street. Police cleared a path, and the trucks sped off.

Protesters then ran down Main Street towards Mission, where they sat in front of a Muni bus. That’s where one protester, 26-year-old Kevin Hernandez, was arrested for battery on a police officer.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Protesters associated with the group “Occupy SF” have been camping out in the city’s Financial District for the last couple of weeks. The group staged several demonstrations and events Wednesday, including a midday march through the city’s Civic Center in which some 200 people marched up Polk Street.

The occupation is being held in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, which describes itself on its website as a “leaderless resistance movement” using nonviolent means to protest the nation’s growing disparities between the rich and poor.

In Los Angeles, police arrested about 11 anti-Wall Street demonstrators who entered a Bank of America during a downtown march by hundreds of people.

The arrests Thursday afternoon came at the end of a demonstration that moved among high-rises housing the offices of banks and other financial institutions.

Many are calling the anti-Wall Street movement the left wing’s answer to the Tea Party, with many feeling that this seems to be an organic protest movement, unlike any the Bay Area has seen before. There are no leaders, instead the protesters use an idea called the “people’s microphone” to amplify announcements and make decisions by vote.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Another difference is that the veteran political demonstrators seem to be outnumbered by first-timers, like Mark Schwetz, a former FedEx driver who lost his home to foreclosure in Petaluma, and now rents a room in Berkeley, where he’s working as a carpenter.

“We’re tired of the way things are,” said Schwetz. “The status quo isn’t working anymore.”

Schwetz said that this isn’t about class warfare, but instead it’s about fighting back, for economic justice.

“We’re not just a bunch of greedy people wanting handouts,” said Schwetz, his voice wavering. “I worked hard for that house, and I lost everything I had when that happened to me, and I want it back.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • b

    I don’t even know what the message is, but I have to walk by their encampment this past week to get the Ferry. They seem more of a nuisance then anything else. There’s a lot of pot smoking going on and some volatile people sometimes yell pretty incoherent things. If they want “normal” people to pay attention to their message and not just be sensational, I think they may want to reconsider their communication strategy. They are certainly not approachable enough to be asked about their cause.

    • Somebody took my buritto

      what makes you “normal”? just because you have a job? You’re stupid.

  • John

    There are a growing number of freedom-loving people in the world who have knowledge of personal “rights”, are highly intelligent, accomplished, and yet are unable to live the way that they want to. Part of the problem is economic, but much of the situation involves a newly created modern-format society and newly restored social concepts such as benign neglect, i.e, ignoring the poor, admiring the wealthy, and unfairly discriminating between the two.
    This is increasing and is really happening with increased frequency around the world today, (i.e., Hungary) but especially, is becoming more pronounced in new communities in Europe and the US. ‘
    In newly “revitalized” cities where large impressive new architecture is replacing older, “beautiful” work that previously cost much less to occupy, (though wasn’t as safe) people are referred to as “garbage” or “a nuisance”, probably by people afraid to personally face the painful realities of those who, by simple bad luck, or “neglect” are forced to live life outside of the employed mainstream. (Or, worse, they reject the painful memory of having once experienced that life for themselves).
    Unless government programs become effective in placing everyday people into work using known business as well as modern hiring techniques, the situations are not likely to just “go away”. The problems are large, increasing, socio-economic, and sometimes religious in nature, and are being dealt with by security forces and and not employment opportunities. That “authoritarian” approach could change, if more established and honest businesspeople could be made aware of (or better trained at) increasing the number of job creations (i.e., make a paying job(s) or, create many paid jobs) and improving or advancing company hiring practices.

  • Anonymous

    The government responded to Katrina slow.
    The government responded to housing crisis slow.
    The government bailout of Wall St was fast and easy.
    Bank of America and Citigroup haven’t change their practices after the bailout and fines customers on their debits and checking.
    Run on the banks, take your money out of these banks.
    Occupy NOV 2011 – Election 2012!
    The corporate media is censoring the urgency of the OCCUPY movement. Use YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and ID all police excessive force.
    The media cannot claim the movement has no message, that’s just bad journalism after three weeks of OccupyWallSt! Google and Wikipedia has info on OccupyWallSt. Media Lies. Free speech.
    The “job creators” on Wall St. took taxpayers bailout money and gave themselves bonuses.
    The American people have lost jobs, homes, school cuts, are we supposed to wait for Washington to wake up while we run out of savings and get evicted?
    The top 1% can no longer oppress the 99% with their gross negligence and tax evasion. The middle class have nothing left to lose.
    Nurses, teachers, labor Unions have joined the OCCUPY movement. The cost of living is too high for the working class, while the rich oligarchs live off the interests and control government to give them tax cuts they don’t need.
    Close your Bank of America accounts! Solidarity!
    We are Legion.
    We do not forgive.
    We do not forget.

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