Daylong Nonviolent Occupation of “Wall St West”


January 21, 2012

OccupySF Press Team +1 415 937-7759,

Daylong Nonviolent Occupation of “Wall St West”

Thousands Demand End to Bank Evictions and Foreclosures, End to Corporate Personhood

San Francisco – On January 20, 2012 (J20), thousands of San Francisco Bay Area residents occupied San Francisco’s Financial District as part of the Occupy Wall St West actions to demand that banks end predatory evictions and foreclosures and that corporations lose the rights of personhood. Protestors targeted banks and corporations that have damaged Bay Area communities, homes, education, environment, livelihood, and democracy.

Participants considered the Occupy Wall Street West (OWSW) J20 action a success. Thousands of people from every sector of the Bay Area braved cold and rain to stage dozens of direct actions and events in San Francisco’s Financial District, in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and in disrupting the City Hall auction of bank-foreclosed homes.

One group kicked off the day of action dressed as giant squids at Goldman Sachs, which Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi refers to as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”.

Protestors shut down Wells Fargo Corporate Headquarters on Montgomery Street by chaining themselves to the doors. Police arrested at least eleven protestors who demanded an end to predatory bank evictions and foreclosures.

Demonstrators also occupied Bank of America’s main branch at Montgomery and California streets, which the activists blockaded and shut down for nine hours. At Citicorp’s 1 Sansome office, protestors staged a mock foreclosure, piling furniture and moving boxes into the revolving door at the main entrance.

A half block away, clergy and religious leaders marched around the banks blowing the horns of Jericho. Two flash mobs performed throughout the day and a brass band a numerous poets and bans performed on a pedal powered sound system.

Iraq Veterans Against the War engaged in guerrilla theater, detaining fellow protestors on suspicion of “terrorism” in a protest against an unconstitutional provision of the National Defense Authorization Act, recently passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Obama, one provision of which permits the arrest and indefinite detention of US citizens anywhere in the world, including the US.

At Bechtel, 45 Beale Street, four activists, including Father Louis Vitale, read a list of numerous charges of war profiteering against the corporation in the building lobby.

Occupy Oakland’s mobile music bus led several marches through the Financial District. One BofA branch was transformed into the roving People’s Food Bank of America at 1 Market Street where a hot, nutritious, organic meal sustained freezing Occupiers. According to a mainstream press source, a presumably well-employed passerby told the mysterious amorphous black blob that oozed around the financial district to go get a job. An Occupier deftly replied, “The occupation is our job.”

Meanwhile, at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Move To Amend activists held a teach-in featuring author Ted Nace and the local head of the National Lawyers Guild, drawing several hundred citizens who expressed their outrage at the US embrace of corporate personhood. As “Occupy the Courts” wrapped up, the group presented an oversized printed copy of the proposed 28th Amendment to Cathy Catterson, Executive of the Ninth US Circuit and Court of Appeals.

Then over at Occupy the Auction, Occupy Bernal protestors and supporters got the news that their planned protest at the weekly foreclosure auctions led Wells Fargo to postpone a foreclosure auction of the property rented by Bernal neighbors Maria and Washington Davila. Maria Davila and other foreclosure fighters thanked the crowd of about two hundred protestors for this first important step toward stopping banks from their predatory evictions and foreclosures throughout San Francisco.

Protestors stormed Fortress Investments to demand a halt to predatory equity scams where landlords and banks buy apartment buildings intending to remove rent-controlled units from the market so they can replace them with market-rate tenants. Other protestors occupied busses running on Market and Mission Streets to demand free transportation for youth.

Labor activists put foam in a fountain at the Grand Hyatt at Union Square to protest the anti-labor practices of the hotel chain, calling for a boycott in support of workers who are fighting for fair contracts at all three San Francisco Hyatts. Protestors led by the Filipino Community Center, with participation from the Chinese Progressive Association of San Francisco, occupied the Citi Apartments office to fight for workers’ stolen wages.

A march ended at Van Ness Avenue at Geary where hundreds of protestors had a rainy standoff with the SFPD. Police pepper sprayed a dozen protestors. More than a hundred occupiers gained entrance to the Cathedral Hill Hotel at 1001 Van Ness Ave. where they held a housewarming party and occupied the hotel until the early hours of the following morning. A site of labor disputes, the hotel sits vacant while 10,000 homeless people are living on the streets of San Francisco.

Occupy Wall St West — a broad alliance of occupy and allied organizations and individuals had agreed that all actions would remain nonviolent and would not include damage to property. An incident of property damage by individuals who were not part of Occupy Wall St West occurred as an early evening march passed by on Van Ness Ave. The march immediately stopped and organizers and participants made sure no other such damage occurred.

The Occupy Wall Street West action involved dozens of affinity groups (people self-organized into groups to participate in the occupation) and over 55 labor, environmental, student, tenant, homeowner, arts, LGBT, peace, and community organizations targeting specific banks and corporations.

The January 20, 2012, Occupy Wall St West actions were the culmination of actions in which hundreds of protestors successfully shut down bank branches in the Excelsior, Mission, and Bernal neighborhoods. The Occupy Movement will continue to build a strategic mass movement asserting the power of the 99% for economic justice and a better world.

For featured news roll, videostreams, and twitter feeds:
See and

To subscribe to the press list or obtain photos and video of the actions:

Occupy SF strives to address and confront the injustices in our society by giving voice to the 99% through direct actions. OSF is simultaneously creating a new culture based on direct democracy, diversity, sustainable communities, and respect for all peoples and the environment.

Occupy SF Housing is a coalition which includes OccupySF, SF Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee of SF, Causa Justa: Just Cause, Eviction Defense Collaborative, ACCE, Homes Not Jails, Occupy Bernal, and other community groups and individuals. The coalition came together to stop banks from evicting tenants and homeowners through foreclosures or through their partnerships with real estate speculators.

Information on prior Occupy SF Housing actions:

Bernal: and


Food Bank of America Action

As part of the actions on January 20, 2012, Occupy protesters will be creating The Food Bank of America in San Francisco’s Wall St.

We will turn a corporate bank into a community food bank to collect food for our community and share meals with people in the streets. You are all invited to come share food with us on January 20th during the actions to shut down Wall Street West. Please bring a can of food or a non-perishable food item (ex: pasta) to be donated to our food bank. Feel free to also bring fresh produce or prepared meals to share all day with others at the food bank. We will be donating the canned goods and non-perishable food items that we collect on January 20th to local soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

We will be collecting non-perishables throughout the day starting at 6 a.m. at Justin Herman Plaza on Market and Steuart streets along the Embarcadero. We will then announce the location of the Food Bank of America at JHP, through twitter hashtag #OSFFoodBank or follow @OSFFoodBank, and through e-mailing You can also call 510-619-4378.

We will be sharing prepared meals, fruit, sandwiches, and other organic and nutritious meals throughout the day. Find out where the Food Bank of America is located the day of the action at Justin Herman Plaza or call and contact these people on January 20th for locations, addresses, times and logistical information on transporting food to people.

Mr. Alex – 707-479-6210 –

Ryan – 510-619-4378 –

Meagan – 214-535-2116 –

We are also offering to help coordinate and transport food to actions throughout the day. If an action could use some nutritious food or you want to know where you can bring a hot meal contact the above numbers or find us at the Food Bank of America.

We would love volunteers!

We have and would appreciate more:

-Volunteer kitchens – locations food can be prepared the 19th and 20th

-Volunteer cooks and preparers – people to make sandwiches or cook meals

-Volunteer transport – bikes, trailers, & vehicles that can be used to transport food

-Volunteer transporters – people to drive and bike food to actions and Food Bank

-Volunteers to coordinate people at JHP and accept non-perishables

-Volunteers to serve and share meals at the Food Bank of America

We are having a meeting for Food Bank and Food for J20

Where: Mutiny Radio, Diamond Dave’s show, at 21st and Florida, San Francisco, CA

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 17th.

We will be able to coordinate, organize, and rest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (756 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA between 3rd and 4th streets) near Yerba Buena Gardens. Contact Susan for more info on the church.

We will have a chill space and first aid station at the church and will be able to collect and send out food to action locations. We also have spaces in the Mission district, the Castro district, Berkeley, and Oakland where food can be prepared and stored the day of.

Get in touch! 510-619-4378 leave a message

See you for full bellies and a blossoming community on January 20th!