Protesters Converge On Bay Area Banks On ‘Bank Transfer Day’

OAKLAND (CBS SF/AP) — Protesters converged on banks across the Bay Area and all over the country on this Saturday, dubbed ‘Bank Transfer Day.’

A downtown Oakland branch of Wells Fargo was not letting customers in as protesters crowded the entrance to condemn what they’re calling the bank’s investments in immigrant detention centers.

More than 100 protesters marched a block from the Occupy Oakland encampment to the bank branch Saturday morning.

Several protesters tussled with bank security guards who stood in front of the locked entrance.

A few police officers were on the scene but no arrests made.

Wells Fargo regional president Jim Foley stood at the entrance and said the bank would reopen when the situation calmed down.

Meantime, more than 50 people gathered in downtown Walnut Creek  morning to protest and encourage people to remove their money from various corporate banks.  Across the bay in San Rafael, hundreds protested at the Bank of America.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

In San Francisco, protesters in the Excelsior District distributed letters with a list of grievances to local banks, specifically addressing the rising number of foreclosures in that neighborhood.

The demonstrations across the Bay Area come on the same day as protesters across the nation urged people to close out their accounts at major banks.  ‘Bank Transfer Day’ as it has been dubbed, has been propelled by the Occupy Wall Street protests.

The San Jose Credit Union stayed open Saturday in anticipation of Bank Transfer Day.  Some 30 new customers opened accounts there.

The grassroots movement urging bank customers to close their accounts in favor of credit unions by Saturday has more than 79,000 supporters on its Facebook page. It’s credited with forcing Bank of America to drop its plan to start charging a $5 debit card fee. At least 650,000 people have already switched to credit unions since September 29, according to the Credit Union National Association.

In Southern California, several hundred protesters marched through the financial district in Los Angeles.  Prior to the march, several dozen people gathered at California Plaza for an en masse cancellation of their accounts at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase and other large banks.  Similar protests and mass account cancellations were staged in cities across the country.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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