"Occupy Wall Street West" hopes to see massive protest

Poster designed by Eric Drooker

A coalition from across San Francisco is hoping to make tomorrow – Friday, Jan. 20 – a monumental day in the history of Bay Area activism, the Occupy movement, and the fight against home foreclosures and other manifestations of corporate greed.Organizers call the day of protests, marches, street theater, pickets, and more “Occupy Wall Street West.”

Those that urged Occupy protesters to focus in on a list of demands should be pleased, as the day includes a list of demands on banks, including a moratorium on foreclosures and an end to predatory and speculative loans.

Organizers note that Occupy SF Housing, the coalition that planned the day, is separate from OccupySF. In fact, a subset of the group known best for its months-long tent city at Justin Herman Plaza was only one part of a substantial coalition that planned this day of action. Among others, the coalition includes the SF Housing Rights Committee, Homes Not Jails, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), and Occupy Bernal, a neighborhood-focused Occupy group specifically aimed at preventing evictions and foreclosures.

Justin Herman Plaza – or Bradley Manning Plaza, as many in OccupySF like to refer to the park just across from the Ferry Building – will be a crucial meeting point. A press spokesperson said that “down at Bradley Manning Plaza at 6 a.m.,12 p.m., and 5 p.m., we’re going to be launching various segments of the protests, and there will be information desks and education all for those who are interested.”

Organizers hope to culminate the day with a mass march at 5 p.m. A map of the planned actions can also be found here.

Many of the groups in the coalition have focused on specific cases of homeowners and tenants facing eviction and foreclosure; tomorrow, they bring their power to the Financial District.

Vivian Richardson, a member of the coalition who has also worked with ACCE and the newer Foreclosure Fighters group in Bayview, says that she remains in her home after being threatened with foreclosure due to community support.

“On my own, I tried everything to get out of this bad loan… I fought for two years on my own, only to have my home foreclosed on and taken away,” Richardson said at a press conference held yesterday.

“With the help of my community, unions, and ACCE members throughout the state, we generated over 1,400 emails and a few hundred calls to the CEO of [lender] Aurora Bank, and within one hour they called me to reopen my case,” she said. “As of today, the bank has voided the sale of my home and rescinded the foreclosure.”

Groups hoping to prevent foreclosures have had many success stories like Richardson’s. But tomorrow, they will put pressure on large corporate banks.

As SF Housing Rights Committee Executive Director Sarah Shortt said at the rally, “What we’re trying to do here is draw connections between some of those issues and the banking industry… I think that’s one of the most important pieces of the Occupy movement: starting to educate ourselves and each other about how ubiquitous the toll that’s been taken on cities, neighborhoods, communities by banking industry and the one percent.”

The focus is on housing, but in typical Occupy fashion, protesters will draw connections between all kinds of concerns that they see as abuses by banks and corporations.

According to OccupySF member Lisa Guide, the day is about “war profiteering, unjust foreclosures and evictions for profits by the big banks, exploitation of labor and union workers, and liberation of the commons for public good, among many other [issues].”

Guide also mentioned that Jan. 20 is “the eve of the Citizens United Supreme Court case, the court case that gave corporations the power to buy our government.” Simultaneous actions are planned to protest Citizens United, including an Occupy the Courts action at the Ninth District Court of Appeals at noon, to coincide with a national call to “Occupy the Courts

More than 55 organizations are involved in the day of action, and their focuses go beyond housing rights. These include students from Occupy SF State, Occupy Modesto Junior College, and other campus Occupy groups; anti-war organizations such as Iraq Veterans Against the War; environmental organizations such as the Rainforest Action Network; several unions, including UNITE HERE Local 2 and the California Nurses Association; the Chinese Progressive Alliance; and the Interfaith Allies of Occupy, which will be hosting an all-day “respite area” at Saint Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church at 756 Mission.

The array of events planned for Friday is overwhelming. There are demonstrations, pickets, and occupations planned at dozens of banks and corporations throughout the Financial District. Street theater is planned in several places, including an adaptation of A Christmas Carol by the San Francisco Mime Troupe at Justin Herman Plaza at noon and a show from Iraq Veterans Against the War that, according to IVAW member Jason Matherne, a Navy veteran who served in Qatar, “is called Operation First Casualty, because the first casualty of war is the truth.”

Matherne said, “corporations are profiting off the war at the expense of the 99 percent. Specifically, the Bechtel Corporation is using--misusing--billions of dollars to rebuild the infrastructure in Iraq.”

Tomorrow should be big. In a press release, organizers claim that “this is predicted to be the largest street protest of the Financial District since anti-war protests in 2003.”

Whatever the turnout, the Saint Patrick’s "respite" should be a boon, as weather reports indicate rain for tomorrow. Luckily, as Vicki Gray, a Deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of California, Occupy supporter and Interfaith Organizer, said of the sanctuary: “All are welcome. It will be warm, it will be quiet, and you will be loved.”


I'll let you know if I even notice it.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

just sit back douchebag,,,we got this...

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

You won't notice cause you will be at work... chained to your chair... :)

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

Because we are the ones that show up and as we are chained to our desks make the world go round providing the social welfare that allows you to misbehave. Grow up. Occupy something that can actually change things, like a job or a college class or D.C.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

hah. at least you acknowledge that everything that is messed up about the world is held up by every day people who go to work everyday. and really i would bet you don't make the world go around. social movements are what have garnered workers things that are now taken for granted. what ungrateful nonsense.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

You are grossly uninformed. You have done nothing but waste MORE tax dollars. Please get over yourself and get a job. There are plenty of places hiring at the mall near me.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 5:32 am

And we'll all be saved by the homeless, the unemployed and the unemployable?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 7:56 am

Truly uninspiring.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

If by "uninspiring" you mean spectacular! See you there.

BTW, I supported Occupy when I was working. I got laid off. I still support Occupy. When I'm working next I will still support Occupy. It has fuck all to do with who's working and who's unemployed. That's the age-old divide and conquer game the 1% play. See how well it works?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 1:52 am

Make that 50 protesters, not 150.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 7:57 am

Well, Yael Chanoff is only covering the OccupySF movement's internal operations, so inspiration may not be the point of the article. Though, the language of "The array of events planned for Friday is overwhelming" does lend to the idea of whipping up enthusiasm, it may be a straight journalism piece into which some extravagance floated. That said, if it was supposed to be a grand hoopla, yeah, this definitely leaves much to be desired.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 11:27 am

It's not inspiring, but that's not good only if it wasn't aimed to be a straight journalism piece. As a great hoopla it's definitely leaving much to be desired, but it works okay as a straight informational piece dealing with the inner-workings of OccupySF. Of course language like, "The array of events planned for Friday is overwhelming." does lend to the idea of whipping up enthusiasm.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 11:35 am

by taking back the night.

Posted by Chromefields on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 10:56 am

Is there any excuse for bad credit?
Nothing caused by nature, mistake in judgment, or any accident, will satisfy your creditors, or the credit bureaus. No judge, no jury, no mediator, on your behalf are needed or required. If for whatever reason you can't pay a bill consider yourself, a liar, a cheat, or a thief. Banks require you to make a decision between your life and death situation, and their lifestyle. In reality it comes down to need or greed.
What I see less of is understanding or trust. I'm sure most people would pay their bills if their creditors were more understanding. Years ago creditors cared about the people and companies that kept them in business. They had real customer service. They would work with their customers if they had a problem. Companies today don't care if they keep you as a customer. Most of today's company's put quantity ahead of quality. A lot will mislead the public with false or deceiving advertisement to sell their product or service. Most would do or say almost anything to get your money. They don't care if their product is safe or legal as long as it sells.
The credit bureaus are a big part of the problem. The credit bureaus are company's that collect individual credit information from creditors. Most of that information is collected without legal process. Credit bureaus received consumer credit information from banks and other businesses. They sell it to lenders, creditors, and consumers in the form of a credit report and a FICO score. That's how they make a profit for their company. These credit reports are stereotyping, discriminating, and bias ways of profiling customers honesty. Most are filled with lies or mistakes that affect your FICO score. The FICO scoring system is discriminating, an unfair way of scoring someone's honesty. Creditors can ruin your credit via the credit reporting agencies without legal process. The scores and credit reports are abused by banks and other financial institutes lending money or credit. I think it would be easier to break Russian code that understand the scoring system. The FICO score should justifiably be about do I pay my debts? If a payment is late for some reason. It should not be treated like the crime of the century. I can understand someone going to jail for seven years for murder, theft, or some other dangerous crime. But not if your payment is late? I doubt anyone issuing credit will starve. I doubt that they will care why your payment was late. The FCRA is supposed to protect consumers from creditors and credit bureaus. Why aren't the laws that are supposed to protect the public doing their job?
With the mortgage crisis and the economy in a mess don't sell out the real American that works hard and a low wage job. They are the ones you will need to rebuild this economy later.

Posted by Guest Floyd R. on Jan. 28, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

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