Occupy San Francisco, which was unceremoniously booted from its base at Justin Herman Plaza in December, is planning a day of protests in the Financial District on Friday.

Occupy SF at Justin Herman Plaza, as it existed Oct 24, 2011. The camp was dismantled in Dec. (Don Clyde/KQED News)

On Wednesday, 10 speakers divulged protest plans at a press conference in front of the Bank of America at California and Kearny streets in San Francisco. They said individuals from more than 50 labor, housing and activist groups under the umbrella name Occupy Wall Street West will deploy from Justin Herman Plaza to participate in a series of actions, ending with a 5 p.m. rally and march to reclaim a foreclosed building in the Financial District. Events include a 6 a.m. “squid fry” at Goldman Sachs, a Bank of America “tour of shame,” a rally at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center, and an Iraq Veterans Against the War protest at the downtown office of the Bechtel, a military contractor.

Protesters are also planning a Saturday event to mark the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which has opened the door to unrestricted campaign donations from corporations, as well as from labor unions.

Not yet scheduled as of Wednesday was one group’s plan to transform a financial institution into a food bank by collecting non-perishable food items at the bank and donating them to shelters and soup kitchens.

Protesters on Wednesday spoke to the various issues they said were motivating them to take action.

“This day is not just about corporate greed, but how this greed and profit affects people and communities unjustly,” said Lisa Guide of Occupy SF.

“I’m occupying Wall Street West because corporations are profiting off the war at the expense of the 99 percent,” said Jason Matherne, a Navy veteran and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Pilar Schiavo of the California Nurses Association said, “health care has become a booming industry for hospital owners with obscene profits that are camouflaged by the nonprofit status most of these corporations hide under. And the end result is profits reaped that become more important than the needs of patients and the health care of our communities.”

Terence Yancey, a student organizer at San Francisco State, said “I’m occupying Wall Street West because public education in this state is being dismantled in order to give tax breaks and incentives to corporations and millionaires. Students are tired of subsidizing the greed and recklessness of the 1 percent.”

One Occupy SF veteran, Robb Benson, said Friday’s protest had attracted too many outside groups like labor unions, which he characterized as performing a “hostile takeover” of Occupy SF.

“They weren’t camped out, they didn’t go through the hell we went through,” he said.

Here is a list of all the actions planned on Friday.

The Return of Occupy SF: Big Day of Protests Planned For Friday 19 January,2012Vinnee Tong

  • Strange comment from Occupy SF “veteran” Robb Benson, complaining that groups of people shouldn’t show up at Friday’s protest because they hadn’t camped out and “didn’t go through the hell we went through”. Excuse me Robb, you don’t have any more say about whether, where and when my husband and I protest than the cops do. Labor groups showing up and voicing their opinions doesn’t constitute a “hostile takeover”, although I felt somewhat the same when I saw yoga events on every day’s calendar. An obvious goal of most in the movement is to gather support from more people, not showcase your holier than thou syndrome. And, as an aside, if you think the police harassments and assaults were “hell”, then you’ve lived a more placid and pleasant life than many of us have. Grow up.

  • Tryan27


    As part of the Occupy movement, I realize that getting corporate
    and billionaire money out of politics is key to getting a government for the
    99% instead of the 1% who own most members of both parties of Congress right
    now.  Tactically speaking, though, I feel the way to make the change is
    not to go back to many of the same corrupt incumbents who have been blocking
    real campaign finance reform and public campaign financing, and expect them to
    vote for a Constitutional Amendment that would regulate where a majority of
    their campaign donations come from. The way to get money out of politics is to
    use our social networks to replace bribe-inducing TV ads and elect pro-99%
    candidates who refuse corporate money and promise to vote to ban corporate
    campaign contributions. We need different politicians to pass different laws
    and create a system that works for the 99%. That’s why I like the ten
    “fresh democracy” candidates who launched this week with www.BeYourGovernment.org  . We need hundreds like them.
    THEY will VOTE TO AMEND in January 2013. Not the corporate bought politicians
    we have in Congress now. 


    BeYourGovernment.org supports the important policy objective of the
    Move to Amend effort, to end the corruption of our political system by huge
    corporate donations. We feel that the most immediate and effective way of
    bringing about this essential change is for we, the people, to use our social
    and personal networks to become, and support, Congressional candidates who run
    without corporate money. A core transparency question for all candidates is
    whether they will vote for an end to corporate funding of campaigns, and public
    campaign financing. We believe that electing many new members of Congress who
    refuse corporate donations can help Move to Amend build a Congressional
    majority to get the buck out of the ballot once and for all. 

  • Sf99er

    Greeting and health. Please, do not distort my words; I did not say “Friday’s protest attracted too many outside groups” – I am grateful for all the support we have received. I said that the newspaper, that morning, had indicated that OccupySF was now OccupyWallStWest and, due to the fact that this was never discussed by OSF’s General Assembly, inquired into OWSW’s position on the matter. I merely wanted to nip the rumor in the bud. Cheers

    Love, liberty and justice,


Vinnee Tong

Vinnee Tong is a producer working on Bay Curious at KQED. She produced Truth Be Told, the award-winning KQED series on race and identity distributed nationally by Public Radio International.

Before KQED, she was a print reporter at the Associated Press. Awards for her reporting work include an RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award, as well as awards from the New York Press Club and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. 

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