11 Arrested as Occupy San Francisco Protesters Block Wells Fargo HQ; Read SFPD Guidelines for Protesters
Occupy San Francisco protesters have marched to Wells Fargo headquarters this morning in the financial district and surrounded the building.
3:23 p.m. Adam Gold of Causa Justa: Just Cause, one of the groups involved in organizing the protest, tells KQED News intern Vinnee Tong that the rally has wound down.
The Oakland Tribune has a report up on today’s action.
11:05 a.m. Paul Lancour reports:
Protests have simmered down a little bit; there aren’t quite as many people as there were a couple of hours ago. But there is still a core group, primarily in front of two entrances in front of the Wells Fargo bank. They’re spilling out onto Sansome Street, and police are routing traffic around them. They haven’t closed the street entirely. The protesters continue to blockade the doors.
There have been no additional arrests to the 11 earlier who police say entered the premises and were taken in for trespassing.
Protests say they are here to show solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement taking place. They selected Wells Fargo because of some of its specific practices but also because it’s a high-profile San Francisco-based bank.
Protesters say they are here for the duration.
2:28 p.m. Marin is occupied too. Tweeted by Marin Independent Journal reporter Jessica Bernstein-Wax:
There was quite a crowd at the Occupy Marin protest in front of B of A in downtown San Rafael. Lots of honking from passersby too! #occupysf
— Jessica B-Wax (@jbwax) October 12, 2011
12:50 p.m. From the Examiner:
In a letter written Tuesday, San Francisco Police Department Chief Greg Suhr said he met with city leaders and Occupy SF members at City Hall to establish guidelines for the ongoing demonstration in front of the Federal Reserve building on Market Street.
10:40 a.m. Statement from Wells Fargo:
Wells Fargo recognizes that Americans are demanding more from their financial institutions during these difficult economic times. 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.
In addition to repaying the U.S. government $25 billion for the TARP funds in December 2009, Wells Fargo paid an additional $1.4 billion in dividends to the US Treasury as well; that was a strong return on investment for the government.
Since 2009, we have conducted more than 716,000 active trial or completed mortgage modifications. In the past year, less than 1.5% of homeowner-occupied loans in our servicing portfolio have proceeded to foreclosure sale.
Wells Fargo is also lending to help small businesses grow and create jobs. For the first half of 2011, Wells Fargo made more than 67,000 loans totaling $7.5 billion in new loan commitments to small businesses nationwide – a 13% increase in dollars lent from the prior year.
–Ruben Pulido, Wells Fargo Spokesman
10:35 a.m. From Bay City News:
Religious and community leaders will hold a news conference in San Jose this morning to announce a number of divestments from major banks and to call on California Attorney General Kamala Harris to help hold banks accountable for the economic crisis.
Organizers said Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church is closing its Bank of America accounts and the group PACT is divesting from Wells Fargo.
The news conference will take place at 11 a.m. at the Most Holy Trinity Church at 2040 Nassau Drive in San Jose.
9:59 a.m. KQED’s Paul Lancour reports from the scene, about 50 minutes ago:
Protesters are blocking Sacramento Street in downtown San Francisco now. They’re located in each of the four entrances of the Wells Fargo bank; they’ve blockaded the doors so customers can’t get in. Police are allowing employees to get in now. We spoke with some of the organzers of the protest, and they say they’re planning on being here for as long as it takes. They’re hoping more people will come down and join them, so they’re expecting this crowd to grow throughout the day.
As of right now, customers still can’t get in the bank, Paul Lancour says. Audio: Paul Lancour reports from downtown
9:45 a.m. And here comes Occupy Santa Rosa.
9:11 a.m. From the Chron: “Service on the California Street cable car line has been suspended until the crowd clears, Muni officials said.”
9:01 a.m. KRON says bank employees have entered the building through side entrances.
8:52 a.m. The Chronicle’s Vivian Ho is on the scene and tweeting. She says an officer told her 11 have been arrested.
8:50 a.m. KRON TV is reporting 12 protesters have been arrested for failure to disperse. Protesters have completely surrounded the Wells Fargo building. Some Wells’ employees are afraid to enter the building, KRON reports.
8:35 a.m. KRON is reporting downtown traffic is a mess.
Update 8:16 a.m.: KTVU and KRON are reporting that police are arresting protesters in front of Wells Fargo, which is not yet open for business.