SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Occupy San Francisco protesters returned to Justin Herman Plaza Monday evening vowing to “retake” the site of their previous encampment.
The plaza along the Embarcadero—dubbed Bradley Manning Plaza by the protesters for a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks—was turned into a bustling camp late last year before protesters were told to evacuate the plaza by city officials.
Protesters returned to the plaza Monday night following a day of rallies and marches to mark the one-year anniversary since the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York.
Marches through downtown San Francisco streets Monday afternoon disrupted traffic and Muni service sporadically before a 5 p.m. rally in front of 555 California St.
Following the rally, several hundred protesters marched to Wells Fargo headquarters at 420 Montgomery St., gathering there for several hours.
A brass band was among those marching, and another group stood behind a large yellow banner proclaiming themselves “Foreclosure Fighters,” the banner’s background scrawled with the names of banks and investment firms like Fannie Mae and Chase.
The protesters chanted as they marched, including Occupy mainstays like “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out” and appropriated chants for the day like, “The system has got to die, happy birthday Occupy.”
Outside of Wells Fargo’s headquarters, demonstrators threw debt slips and financial paperwork into a trashcan, symbolically sending the banks a message that they did not intend to repay their debts.
Others painted a large yellow mural on the street that said, “Democracy not debt.”
One protester, Scott Rossi, said he had been with Occupy SF from the beginning and that he was heartened to see such a large turnout for Monday’s rally and march.
Rossi said that Monday’s crowd appeared to be a little more militant and radical than the crowds Occupy protests initially drew last year.
Protesters then marched back through city streets, eventually arriving at Justin Herman Plaza around 9 p.m., where they remained tonight vowing to “retake” the plaza. No arrests have been reported.
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