‘Occupy SF’ Marchers Clog Financial District; Block Wells Fargo

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Police arrested 11 protesters outside Wells Fargo’s corporate headquarters in downtown San Francisco Wednesday morning as hundreds of demonstrators marched around the building and blocked doorways.

Early Wednesday morning, dozens of demonstrators sat down in front of all four entrances to the building, located at 420 Montgomery St. between Sacramento and California streets.

San Francisco police Lt. Troy Dangerfield said 11 people were arrested on Liedesdorff Street, an alleyway that runs behind the building.

PHOTOS: Bay Area ‘Occupy’ Protests

After the Liedesdorff Street entrance was cleared around 9:15 a.m., employees and customers were able to enter the building, a Wells Fargo spokesman said. The building had been scheduled to open at 9 a.m.

A garage entrance on Sacramento Street was also blocked until 10 a.m., when protesters moved on their own to join larger groups around the corner. Protesters continued to block two other entrances, but no further arrests were made, protest organizer Rose Arrieta said.

The demonstration ended around 12:30 p.m. when protesters left the area of their own accord, Arrieta said.

The protest began about 7 a.m. at Market and Drumm streets, where about 200 protesters gathered for an anti-Wall Street rally and march to highlight a number of issues including foreclosures and unemployment. The group was made up of people of all ages, including some parents who brought their children.

Some demonstrators held signs reading “Foreclose Wall Street,” “Stop the corporate greed,” and “We are the 99 percent.”

Wells Fargo, San Francisco, Occupy SF, Protesters,

'Occupy SF' protesters block the entrance to Wells Fargo corporate headquarters at 420 Montgomery St. in San Francisco, October 12, 2011. (CBS)

San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos, who is running for mayor, was among them and addressed the crowd.

“I welcome your fight and I join you in the effort,” he said.

They began marching shortly after 7:30 a.m. and headed to the Wells Fargo building.

Kathy Burick, a dance and yoga teacher at City College of San Francisco, attended the protests to represent the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121.

“We’re suffering so many cuts from this budget crisis that was manufactured on Wall Street,” Burick said. She said that continuing budget cuts to education have resulted in the loss of thousands of students since she began teaching at the college 32 years ago.

“We lose the people who need the school the most,” she said.

SEIU 1021 member Al Haggett said he was also there with his union and as part of his work organizing and working with retirees in the Bay Area.

“It’s nothing but greed,” he said of the people “on the top” that run the financial institutions such as Wells Fargo.

“I’ve been working on this campaign for two months,” Haggett said, and estimated that he has seen a 300 percent increase in people participating in such demonstrations in that time.

“People are getting the word out,” Haggett said.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose, Holly Quan Report:

Wells Fargo issued a statement Wednesday in response to the protest.

“Wells Fargo recognizes that Americans are demanding more from their financial institutions during these difficult economic times,” Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido said.

“We are committed to serving the financial needs of individuals and businesses, keeping credit flowing, and working to help those facing financial hardships find solutions,” he said.

Pulido said fewer than 1.5 percent of homeowner-occupied loans in Wells Fargo’s servicing portfolio have proceeded to foreclosure sale in the past year, and that the bank is working with hundreds of thousands of customers to modify mortgages.

He also said that during the first half of 2011, Wells Fargo made more than 67,000 loans totaling $7.5 billion to small businesses nationwide.

The march is organized by a number of groups including Causa Justa Just Cause, Unite Here Local 2850, the California Partnership, Young Workers United and the Chiinese Progressive Association.

The groups stated in a press release that they want banks to pay their fair share of taxes and be held accountable for their role in causing the economic crisis.

They say they are rallying in solidarity with the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, which has sparked protests across the country.

In San Francisco’s version, “Occupy SF,” protesters have been camping out in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco at Market and Spear streets.

As the crowd gathered for the march this morning, dozens of “Occupy SF” protesters remained in their sleeping bags on the sidewalk.

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

  • bryan coyle

    It is not the police job to make ALL protests cowtail!!!!!

  • Jesus MArtinez

    Thanks for making me late to work, where I might lose my job, while protesting that there are no jobs!

  • Monster

    Go protest in front of the White House!

    • Liz

      Yes, I agree. It is our legislators who have brought this all about. Why hasn’t there been any discussion about getting rid of the crooks running the country, the ones who took the money and passed laws to aid and abet their money providers. Why blame the banks?

  • ernest

    200, looks more like 400. Funny how the media tends to estimate crowd sizes towards the smaller end of the estimate. So if they think there are 300-400 people, they will say 300, lol.

  • j

    The FBI and DEA fabricate evidence, steal from suspects and use murder to close those bad cases.
    How is it that 12 of the 9/11 terrorists could live for 2 weeks just 2 miles from NSA head quarters in Maryland.
    This after several of them had taken flight simulator lessons on Jumbo jet trainers and several of them where on State department terror watch lists.
    There is evidence that employees from DoD, CIA and DOJ accepted bribes from Al Quida.
    If DoJ and DoD employees where more concerned with doing their jobs than enriching themselves by stealing from suspects and taking bribes, then there might have been more a chance that 9/11 had never happened.
    Worse might be the fact that elements within the U.S. Intellignece agencies with intent create their own terrorists by carefully choosing suspects and through many 10’s of years of psycological and physical abuse create their own terrorists. Why, to prop up defense spending.
    My dog was poisoned to death, a stolen car was run into the front of my house, gang members are harrassing me, I get death threats, BB guns are being shot at my car when I drive, my car is being tampered with, money and jewelry has been stolen out of my house and these corrupt DOD employees are using torture as a punishment.
    They have been harrassing me for 20 years.

  • Michael

    J, you sound like an angry person. not only did you post something that had nothing to do with the article, but you gave no source for your evidence, only opinionated dribble. I think it’s time to go back to school for you. Next time post something intellegent.

  • EViL_STeVeN

    …and stop blocking the street so people can keep the jobs they still have!

  • Lincoln

    It is messy. A result of the US being purely free enterprise–the rich get really rich adn the poor starve. We need more socially democratic programs like Canada or Sweden has. Results in more of a middle class an very few people living in boxes.

    “greed is good” except when you are poor and cant catch a break

    Montgomery triangle is awesome!

  • Corn

    A society which is efficient for a few but grossly inequitable for many is not sustainable. It is not anti-business or Un-American to be humanist. A fair society is one which does not penalize success but it is also one that does not impede the progress of a majority of its citizens to fortify the extreme gluttony of a few. Civility, equity and compassion for your fellow citizen are not Un-American ideals

    Montgomery triangle is awesome!

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