SF Occupy Protests Extend Into Evening, Building Taken Over

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Minor altercations and an act of vandalism marred an otherwise “extremely peaceful” day of protests in San Francisco, a protester said Friday.

Hundreds of protesters clad in rain gear marched through downtown San Francisco Friday evening, one of several events in a day of action organized by Occupy San Francisco and other allied groups.

The march kicked off at Justin Herman Plaza at the foot of Market Street at around 5 p.m.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“It’s been extremely peaceful all day,” a protester known as Stardust said Friday night.

Some protesters got into an altercation with officers in riot gear near Van Ness Avenue and Geary Street shortly after 7 p.m.

Roughly a dozen protesters were pepper sprayed by officers during a confrontation with police, protesters said. Protesters also said some officers used physical force against the protesters.

Shortly after the confrontation, some protesters appeared to break at least one window of a business, which drew criticism from fellow protesters.

“(There) should not have been any property destruction,” Stardust said.

Stardust said the vandalism goes “completely against our action agreement for today and (for) all actions of Occupy SF.”

Some protesters entered a vacant building on Cathedral Hill around 7:45 p.m., police Officer Carlos Manfredi said.

Manfredi said he could not comment on possible arrests or police action Friday evening as it was still ongoing.

The day of action began with protesters chaining themselves to the entrances of Wells Fargo Bank’s corporate headquarters at 420 Montgomery St. early Friday morning.

Then shortly before 9 a.m., protesters also began blocking a nearby Bank of America branch at 345 Montgomery St.

Multiple blocks of California Street and Montgomery Street were blocked for hours Friday by the demonstrations and the ensuing response by police in riot gear.

More than 100 people gathered outside a federal courthouse in San Francisco Friday afternoon to call for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn the legal doctrine of corporate personhood.

Police made 18 arrests in connection with Occupy San Francisco protests that blocked two banks in the city’s Financial District.

Of those arrests, 17 were made for trespassing on private property, while one was for a protester who allegedly grabbed a police officer’s baton, according to police.

Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido issued a statement Friday defending the bank against the protests.

“We understand that Americans are demanding more from their financial institutions during this economic recovery,” Pulido said. “Wells Fargo continues to be a responsible corporate citizen and assists those facing financial hardships.”

He said in the past year, less than 2 percent of homeowner-occupied loans in the bank’s servicing portfolio have proceeded to foreclosure sale and that Wells Fargo has worked with homeowners to conduct more than 724,000 mortgage modifications since 2009.

Friday evening’s march started at Justin Herman Plaza at the foot of Market Street and traffic was disrupted due to the march.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • tn

    If you were one of these protestors, what happens when you have a nose or butt itch to scratch, or if a bird drops a bird-turd somewhere on your face or ear?

    • Get a clue, Einstein

      They are probably like you with way too much spare time to worry about this.

  • tn

    not talking finch or sparrow, but pigeon or seagull.

  • ani

    These arrogant protesters will be forcefully removed if they don’t disperse themselves immediately. They are not to be trusted for their misguided views on banks and they must NOT be listened to.

  • Steven V.

    They want to “occupy the courts” … Really? That should go over nicely.

  • Allen C

    Give them their money back, they haven’t earned any!

  • oldfart

    They Mayor is again letting these bums turn San Francisco into a laughing stock. He needs to stand up, take charge and stop these bums from disrupting business. Enough is enough. first it was tent city, now they are trying to shut this city down.

    Voice your outrage at http://www.stinkingpolitics.com sign up , take a poll , be heard

    • You sure stink oldfart

      Roll over and die old man.

  • Pennie Opal Plant

    What is wrong with you narrow minded folks? I’m thinking that none of you really live in our beloved, open-minded, free-speech oriented city that has a long tradition of being on the forefront of human rights and social justice. With the corporatocracy of the United States and the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression and the high cost of what used to be free higher education, you should all be standing up too. That is of course, unless you are part of the 1% that has taken advantage of the rest of us.

    • norbit

      Standing up is one thing. Vandalizing, breaking, and entering buildings, and fighting police officers is another. I’m all for standing up for a cause. But when I see this kind of behavior constantly on the news, I sometimes wish police officers just shoot these offenders. I fully support the UC Davis police officer that pepper sprayed the students. It was a blessing he did that. Some of you protestors need to find better things to do than make trouble.

      • Philip Scharfy

        Well said, norbit

  • Philip Scharfy

    From the dearth of occupoop slackers caused by the rain, it appears the bay area is plagued by a plethora of fair-weather socialists.

  • stuart prout

    what do the occupy sf people think they are accomplishing? The big banks have not changed one iota since the protests started months ago. I don’t see all the corporate ceo’s and other rich people wearing sackcloth and handing over their worldly possesions to the 99% for redistribution. Wake up people!!!!
    The corporations own the politicians, so they have no reason to care about what the protesters want. The protesters can hold their breath til they turn blue or drop dead. The corporate executives will simply step over their bodies on their way to lunch at a 5 star restaurant.

    • Philip Scharfy

      As well they should

      • Thanks Philip

        Don’t forget to leave your address,phone numbers,city,driver license number and social security number.

  • Pennie Opal Plant

    The price of true freedom is eternal vigilance, but it sounds like most of you would rather relax in your comfie homes and watch tv. So sad. Yes, there is a small group of protesters calling themselves the Black Bloc who commit acts of random violence. There are usually under 10 of them at a demonstration. I don’t condone their actions or agree with their tactics. Unfortunately, mainstream news always focuses on these idiots and not on the great majority of peaceful, nonviolent demonstrators. In a couple of short months, Occupy has shifted the national dialog toward illuminating the profound issues of crimes by the financial institutions, the increasing wealth of the 1% and the damage done by their greed to the rest of us. You may very well thank Occupy in another 5 or 10 years from the shift that the movement created in the US away from a corporatocracy to a true democracy. Really…isn’t that what we all want?

  • sanfranciscan76

    Preventing people from going into and coming out of a place of business is NOT PEACEFUL. It is a form of application of force, as opposed to the type of truly peaceful protest engaged in, for example, by the Tea Party. Those who oppose giveaways to chosen businesses (cronyism), selecting certain sectors for subsidies (“Green” boondoggles), and the take-over of businesses by government (Chrysler) should join with Tea Party folks in peaceful protest against the big government (tending toward fascist) politicians now occupying the White House. Do your protesting legally, and peacefully. We need to get rid of the federal tax code as it now exists and start over in a way that encourages private entrepeneurship and freedom over centralized bureaucracies, whether corporate or governmental.

  • fedupwithMSM

    Your coverage is so ignorant. I was part of that march earlier, and it was completely peaceful. I heard from people on the scene that two people broke windows, but according to you, “Occupiers” took aim at the car dealerships—as though that was a big shared plan. Talk about overgeneralizing. What about the thousands of others? If there are two rowdy football fans, do you use their actions to describe everyone in attendance? I’m so disgusted with the mainstream media. Put a little effort into getting the whole story, rather than sensationalizing!

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