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More Than 90 Arrested in Bank of America Occupation in SF

| November 16, 2011
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Thursday, 11:45 a.m. Video of the scene outside the bank taken by Bay City News reporter Dan McMenamin yesterday:

6:15 p.m. Police arrested more than 90 people at a Bank of America branch downtown that students took over Wednesday afternoon. About 100 students rushed into the bank around 2 p.m. and pitched a tent in the lobby. For the next several hours police arrested protesters one at a time, as protesters calmly sang, drummed and joked about their situation. Police gave the protesters a chance to leave without getting arrested earlier.

Occupy Oakland is holding a general assembly tonight at 6:30 p.m. and Occupy Cal students have pitched tents on the campus.

5:26 p.m. Police continue to arrest protesters who stayed inside Bank of America. About 50 people have been arrested so far.

Several hundred protestors were gathered in front of the State Building at Civic Center, to protest tuition increases, and then dispersed around 5:30 p.m. The UC Regents were supposed to meet today, but canceled the meeting due to “safety concerns.” The California State University system approved a 9 percent tuition increase today as well.

5 p.m. The students have listed a series of demands including:

  • stopping all funding cuts for the state education system, from elementary schools to public universities,
  • reversing all funding cuts and fee hikes to 2009 levels,
  • and to increase taxes on corporations and the rich.

4:23 p.m. KGO shows police arresting more than 20 protesters who set-up tents inside a branch of Bank of America in downtown San Francisco. Police are also lining up along the march route.

3:10 p.m. KQED News intern Vinnee Tong is at the scene of the Bank of America at 50 California Street, which has been occupied by protesters who were part of a march in downtown San Francisco. KTVU reported “at least 100 protesters rushed into a Bank of America branch on California Street near Davis Street, taking it over. They stood inside the branch chanting, “We are the 99 percent.”

Vinee Tong says the march started at Justin Herman Plaza, comprised of 300 to 400 people, mostly students and some members from Occupy San Francisco. The students had planned to demonstrate at the UC Regents meeting, but that was cancelled over security concerns.

Protestors began setting up tents in the bank, Tong says, with about six people inside, some with drums. A few dozen others are sitting outside the tent. About a half-dozen police are standing at other end of the room.

Latest from news organizations covering the event on Twitter:

3 p.m. From the Bay Area News Group:

About 2:30, bank managers asked everyone to leave and they were shouted down.

Protesters were running around the bank, standing on desks and writing “Occupy Bank of America” on bank calendars, chanting, “Whose bank, our bank.”


Ultimatum given to Occupy SF

Last night police dismantled some ancillary tents that had sprung up from the main Occupy San Francisco encampment at Justin Herman Plaza.

Today, representatives from the camp met with Mayor Ed Lee and some city department heads in a meeting that had been scheduled before the raid yesterday. Our reporter Katrina Schwartz sat in on the meeting and reports the following:

  • This is the third of these meetings between the city and camp members.
  • About 10 Occupy representatives attended. They said they were surprised by the raid since they were about to meet with the mayor today.
  • Mayor Ed Lee made it clear he doesn’t think the camp is in compliance with guidelines set out by the city.
  • Keeping walkways clear, mitigating fire hazards, keeping cooking areas and sanitation clean were some of the things officials felt had not been addressed by the camp.
  • Representatives from labor, the ACLU, and religious groups were also there.
  • Camp members said they had tried hard to do comply but don’t have a lot of money and have reached out to other community groups to provide them with assistance to maintain the necessary level of safety and hygienic conditions.
  • One representative said some of the members causing the most problems are chronically homeless and not used to living in a community. Some of this contingent is also mentally ill, they said. On this point, Occupy members asserted they were taking care of a problem the city itself can’t address.
  • Lee’s bottom line: If a dramatic increase in compliance doesn’t occur, “I’m going to do what I have to do.” He said the city is already stretched thin and expending a lot of resources on Occupy SF.
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