Financial Sunshine Report

Here is a report on the financial situation of the January 20, 2012, Occupy Wall St West action.

Amounts Raised

Organizers raised the following funds for the J20 action:

$11,425 Raised

Amounts Spent

Organizers spent the following funds for the J20 action:

Print Costs

$290.78 for Spotlight printing
$531.22 for Spotlight printing
$523.40 for Spotlight printing
$523.40 for Spotlight printing
$100.00 for Paper

$1,968.80 for Total Print Costs

Video/Phone, Data Storage, and Internet Services

$709.45 for Panasonic HDC-TM700K Hi-Def Camcorder
$79.99 for Samsung Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G Android Phone (Sprint Phone # (415) 637-7867)
$68.94 for Phone Seidio Extended Life Spare Replacement Battery and Door
$2,639.76 for Phone Two year service plan = 24 X $109.99
$36.00 for Phone Activation fee
$360.00 for Phone Taxes and surcharges = 15 x 2 24
$50.29 for Panasonic HDC-TM700 Camcorder Accessories (Charger, Batt.)
$87.33 for 2 Polaroid Studio Rechargable Night lights for Camera
$1,108.88 for 8TB RAID System
$43.99 for Kensington Lock Kit
$700.00 for Online Policy Group – data storage and Internet services
$99.00 for Clear Spot Apollo Device
$588.00 for Clear.com/plans 49/mo x 12
$599.88 Foreclosures Data base 49.99/mo x 12

$7,171.51 Total Comms Equipment expenses

Food and Day of Expenses

$1,200? for Rainbow Grocery (waiting for receipt)
$364.27 for Safeway
$150 for Smart and Final
$50 for Walgreens (waiting for receipt)
$661.32 for Fowler Brothers
$2,425.59 Total Day of Expenses

$11,565.90 Grand Total Expenses

-$140.90 Amount Remaining


NationOfChange.org Donation

During the first half of January 2012, representatives of the progressive news portal NationofChange.org visited an Occupy Wall St West (OWSW) Action Workgroup meeting. They prepared some video segments about the action which they posted to their website.

NationOfChange.org has raised and provided funding for Occupy Wall St and Occupy DC actions in the past.

Stardust received a request by email from NationOfChange to generate a list of needs for potential funding for the upcoming J20 action. When Stardust asked David where funds were needed, David answered that he was raising some funds for posters and perhaps did Communications need the funds. So, Stardust asked the OWSW Communications Workgroup which together generated a list of communications equipment to request. Then, NationOfChange said they’d also like to provide funds for some food on day of action, so Stardust contacted Ryan who said he’d provide a list of food items after a Food Workgroup meeting taking place on January 11.

At the time, the Communications Workgroup of OWSW submitted a funding request for $6,980 — not knowing how much funding NationofChange.org would provide or if the funding request would be approved. NationofChange.org representatives responded with a plan to fund $10,000 with the balance of $3,020 to go to Food and related supplies for the day of action. The $10,000 funding ended up going $7,171.51 for Communications, $2,425.59 for Food, and $402.90 for Printing.

They agreed to provide the funding to OWSW through the non-profit organization Global Exchange so that they could issue a wire transfer to another 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, rather than to assorted individuals involved with OWSW. Once Global Exchange received the funding on behalf of OWSW, they sent a thank-you letter, detailing the planned disbursement of the funds received.

Over the next several days, Global Exchange assisted OWSW organizers in disbursements of the funds and obtained receipts for these disbursements.

The Communications Workgroup and the Food Workgroup of OWSW thank NationofChange.org heartily for their fundraising efforts in support of the January 20th actions. The support of NationofChange.org donors made it possible to communicate among protestors, with grassroots media, mainstream press, and the general public, and to feed hundreds of hungry protestors on the day of the actions. We also thank Global Exchange for graciously receiving and disbursing the funds from NationofChange.org to OWSW.

The final accounting is complete and OWSW sent this final thank-you letter to NationofChange.org.

Updated: A Call to Occupy Wall St. West!

en espanol    PDF format in English

Friday, January 20, 2012

San Francisco Financial District

DAYLONG NONVIOLENT MASS OCCUPATION

of the Wall St. banks & corporations attacking our communities, homes, education, environment, livelihood, and democracy

What?

  • A day of mass action centered in the SF Financial District involving mass occupation, mobilization, nonviolent direct action and disobedience.
  • We ask people, groups, movements and communities from San Francisco, the Bay Area and across California to self-organize and take action with us to disrupt business-as-usual—either at a bank or corporation where you are drawn to act or at one initiated by other participants.
  • Many ways to participate without risk of arrest!
  • There will be an all-day orientation site at Bradley Manning/Justin Herman Plaza where unaffiliated folks can get information, including where and how to plug into actions, with mobilization times at 6:00 am (Wall St. West starts when Wall St. East starts!), 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm.

We call on the Occupy movements and the 99% across the region to join us.

Why?

  • To end corporate personhood! Corporations are NOT people; Money is NOT speech. January 20th is the anniversary eve of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, which further privileged corporations over people in our Constitution.
  • To expose how Wall St. operates in our midst, attacking our communities, homes, livelihoods, education, environment, democracy, and health.
  • To demand that banks stop foreclosing on our neighbors and evicting them from their homes for profit.
  • To contribute to ongoing community fights for social and economic justice against banks and corporations.
  • To build and mobilize a broad-based, strategic mass movement asserting the people power of the 99% in San Francisco, the Bay Area, California and the region.

How?

  • DON’T GO TO — OR WALK OUT OF — WORK AND SCHOOL. No Business as Usual!
  • FORM/JOIN AN ACTION GROUP: Organize an action/affinity group with friends, neighbors, classmates, congregation and/or co-workers. We encourage you to organize an action group in your own community or with folks who share common interests or identities.
  • You may also meet people to form or join a group with at a Nonviolent Occupy Direct Action Training (more info later in this document) or by networking through Meetup.
  • These groups can take action, do education and outreach, etc. in their own communities and neighborhoods in addition to supporting mass actions and occupations and staying organized for the long haul. Please send a spokesperson from your group to the weekly Occupy SF Action Council Meeting to coordinate.
  • If you want to let others know that your group is participating and about the actions you are planning, we encourage you to do so!
  • PREPARE: Participate in a two-hour Nonviolent Occupy Direct Action Training to prepare, find out more and maybe meet up with folks to form or join an affinity group. National Lawyers Guild will sponsor Know Your Rights Trainings.
  • ORIENT: Go to the orientation site by the ice skating rink at Bradley Manning/Justin Herman Plaza beginning at 6:00 am — and throughout the entire day — for info and to plug in.

Occupy SF Action Council

The Occupy SF Action Council is an ongoing weekly “spokescouncil” meeting of affinity groups and organizations to coordinate actions and mobilizations. It is the primary coordinating body for the Occupy Wall St. West January 20, 2012, actions and lead-up activities. Decisions are made by spokespeople—chosen by their groups—using a modified consensus decision-making process [try for full consensus; if not possible, 9/10 majority].

All groups participating in the January 20 / Occupy Wall St. West actions, please send spokes to participate.

  • Sunday, January 8, 2:00pm: Unite-Here Local 2, 209 Golden Gate @ Leavenworth (just North of 7th and Market—Civic Center BART), map
  • Sunday, January 15, 2:00pm: Unite-Here Local 2, 209 Golden Gate @ Leavenworth (just North of 7th and Market—Civic Center BART), map
  • Thursay, January 19, 6:00pm: Location TBA

Check the web calendar (www.occupywallstwest.org/calendar) for the latest information on all meetings related to the January 20 actions.

Occupy Wall St. West Workgroups

Organizing and outreach for Occupy Wall St. West (OWSW) is coordinated by the OWSW Action Workgroup and carried out by other ongoing and ad-hoc workgroups, including: Trainings, Outreach, Press, Media, Internal/Action Communications, Food and Housing.

If you have questions or would like to contribute to organizing, available contact info for each workgroup is listed on our website.


Initial Participating Organizations

  • Occupy SF General Assembly and Action Council
  • 
Occupy SF State University
  • 
Occupy SF Housing Coalition:
    ACCE, Asian Law Caucus, Causa Justa: Just
 Cause, Coalition on Homelessness, Eviction Defense Collaborative,
 Housing Rights Committee, Occupy SF, QUEEN, San Francisco Tenants
 Union
  • Progressive Workers Alliance:
    Coleman Advocates for Children
 and Youth, Chinese Progressive Association, Filipino Community Center, La Raza Centro Legal—Day Laborer Program and Women’s Collective, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, People Organized to Demand Environmental and
 Economic Rights, People Organized to Win Employment Rights, Pride at
 Work, Young Workers United
  • Jobs with Justice
  • 
SF Labor Council

  • California Nurses Association

  • Pride at Work/HAVOQ (Horizontal Alliance of Very Organized Queers)
  • 
Rainforest Action Network

  • Code Pink
  • 
ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and Racism) Coalition

  • 28th Amendment Group

  • Move to Amend
  • 
SF Interfaith Allies of Occupy

  • SF 99% Coalition

Additional participating groups are (and can be) listed online here.

ORGANIZATIONS: Existing organizations who respect the ethos of the Occupy movement (e.g., being autonomous from political parties and organizations; non-hierarchical and directly democratic structure; and nonviolent protest, occupation and resistance) are warmly welcomed to participate.


Key Wall St. West Action Sites

We propose that the most key Wall St. institutions to target:

  1. Are major players in the economy
  2. Contributed to the financial crisis and economic melt-down
  3. Have a presence in San Francisco
  4. Have ongoing campaigns against them locally

BIG WALL ST. BANKS:

  • Wells Fargo—World HQ (420 Montgomery) & branches
  • JP Morgan Chase—West Coast HQ (560 Mission) & branches
  • Bank of America—B of A Center (555 California) & branches
  • Citibank—Citigroup Center (1 Sansome) & branches

SOME KEY WALL ST CORPORATIONS:

  • Goldman Sachs (555 California)
  • Morgan Stanley (555 California)
  • Merrill Lynch (101 California)
  • Capital International (1 Market, 20th floor)
  • Chartis Group (AIG) (1 Market, 36th floor)
  • Bechtel (50 Beale)
  • PG&E (77 Beale)

SOME KEY WALL ST CORPORATIONS:

  • Fannie Mae (50 California)
  • Federal Reserve Bank (101 Market)
  • SEC (44 Montgomery)

ACTION MAP:

Additional corporate or government sites that groups are planning actions at can be added to the online action map along with the address and information about why they are being targeted.

A printable version of the online Action Map will be available for download by January 10.

Nonviolent Occupy/Direct Action Trainings

  • These two-hour trainings will cover all the basics of the Jan. 20 Occupy Wall St. West Occupation, including hands-on skills and information about nonviolent direct action, disobedience and occupation for those considering participating in or supporting direct actions, or who just want to find out more. Trainings will include:
    • How to engage in direct action and occupation
    • Tools for de-escalation (and escalation)
    • Working in groups
    • Dealing with arrest and legal consequences
  • You may meet people at the training to form an affinity group with (a group of 5-25 who works as a team for Jan. 20) or join an existing group to participate in the day of action.
  • Please come on time, stay for the whole time and please RSVP using our web form.
  • If you have a group or community — 15 or more people — and would like us to have trainers come to you to do a Nonviolent Occupy/Direct Action Training, ask us and we’ll make it happen if we can!

SF DIRECT ACTION TRAINING SCHEDULE

  • Saturday, January 14, 9:15 am – 11:45 am, Global Exchange, 2017 Mission @ 16th, This will be a special MLK DAY Training led by David Hartsough, a civil rights movement veteran who met Martin Luther King in his youth and was actively involved in the lunch counter sit-ins. Media are welcome.
  • Sunday, January 15, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Unite-Here Local 2, 209 Golden Gate @ Leavenworth
  • Sunday, January 15, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Unite-Here Local 2, 209 Golden Gate @ Leavenworth
  • Monday, January 16, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Unite-Here Local 2, 209 Golden Gate @ Leavenworth
  • Tuesday, January 17, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Location To Be Confirmed—will send after you register
  • Wednesday, January 18, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Unitarian Universalist Church SF—MLK ROOM, Franklin btw. Geary and O’Farrell
  • Thursday, January 19, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Unitarian Universalist Church SF—STARR KING ROOM, Franklin btw. Geary and O’Farrell
  • Thursday, January 19, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Unitarian Universalist Church SF—STARR KING ROOM, Franklin btw. Geary and O’Farrell
  • Thursday, January 19, 8:30pm – 10:30pm, Faithful Fools Street Ministry, 234 Hyde @ Eddy
  • Friday, January 20, 5:00 am – 5:00 pm all-day orientation @ Bradley Manning/Justin Herman Plaza

For updates, stay tuned to the www.occupywallstwest.org/calendar.

Legal Support

  • Occupy Legal is a collective of activists, lawyers and legal workers dedicated to supporting economic justice occupation encampments in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we are supporting Occupy Wall St. West.
  • We are asking groups to self-organize their own legal support contact person–we will work with you. More info on how to do legal support is here.
  • Occupy Legal works to transform the demoralizing experience of arrest and incarceration into an empowering one. We are working in collaboration with the Bay Area chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

What we will do:

  • Provide “Know Your Rights” information and trainings
  • Provide materials on documenting injuries and police misconduct
  • Staff a hotline - 415.285.1011
  • Organize and dispatch legal observers when needed
  • Track people in jail to make sure everyone gets out
  • Provide emergency support to people who are having a crisis in jail
  • Help people who are not released from jail
  • Find lawyers to meet with and defend arrestees on criminal charges
  • Organize a meeting for arrestees (if needed)
  • Maintain a website: http://occupylegal.info

What we can’t do:

  • Handle bail/bond–we can’t raise funds, arrange bail, or otherwise deal with money
  • Provide logistical support for people as they are released from jail (rides, food, medical/emotional support)
  • Guarantee free representation for the duration of your criminal case
  • We may not have resources to represent people who are being held in jail due to prior unrelated charges
  • Make legal decisions for you–we will give information, but in the end your actions are your own

Legal Training

  • The Know Your Rights training covers basic constitutional rights, interacting with the police, searches and the court/arraignment process. We use role-playing and real life scenarios to empower activists to assert their rights in protest situations and to demystify the legal process.
  • You can also take the official NLG Legal Observer training. If you ever wanted a sexy green hat, this is the training for you. The Legal Observer program is part of a comprehensive system of legal support designed to enable people to express their political views as fully as possible without unconstitutional disruption or interference by the police and with the fewest possible consequences from the criminal justice system.
  • Please contact us at occupylegal@riseup.net to RSVP or to request additional trainings for your group!

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS TRAINING

Sunday, January 8, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Unite-Here Local 2, 209 Golden Gate @ Leavenworth
Sunday, January 15, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: location TBA

LEGAL OBSERVER TRAINING

Thursday, January 12, 6:00 pm: Hastings Law School, 200 McAllister @ Hyde

Housing

We will try to connect out of town participants with Bay Area housing. Please fill out a web form if you know you are coming and you need housing OR if you live in the Bay Area and can offer housing. If you have personal contacts (e.g., friend of a friend/family, etc.), please pursue those to leave housing available to those without contacts.

Action Agreements

Agreed to by Occupy SF Action Council & General Assembly:

These basic action agreements allow for a diversity of participants from the 99% needed to build a strategic mass movement capable of standing up to and overthrowing the rule of the 1%, and building a better world. We make agreements about how we make decisions and how we occupy together; these are basic agreements about how we take action together, beyond which individuals and groups are autonomous. These are not philosophical or political requirements or judgments about the validity of some tactics over others; just minimal agreements to create a basis of trust to work together as diverse communities, and to know what to expect from each other.

Occupy SF action participants agree not to engage in property destruction, unless it’s part of our strategy or action agreed to at General Assembly/Action Council (example: entering a foreclosed home to re-occupy). All groups, regardless of strategy and tactics, are welcome to participate in the day of action and are asked to agree to the general principles of the Occupy SF actions.

In forming the Occupy SF Action Council — the coordinating body for Occupy Wall St West — Occupy SF General Assembly and the Occupy SF Action Council agreed that: those who respect our practice of being autonomous from political parties and organizations, of being non-hierarchical and directly democratic, and of nonviolent protest, occupation and resistance are welcome. Groups that wish to co-opt, dominate or use the Occupy movement to further their own organization or ideology are not.

Join Us!
OccupyWallStWest.org

J20 text updates & real-time action updates the day of the action: text owswest to 41411.

Ocupa Wall St. Oeste!

English

Corporaciones No Son Seres Humanos!

¡Dinero no es Expresión Política!

VIERNES, 20 DE ENERO, 2012

Distrito Financiero de San Francisco

Dia de Ocupación Masiva Pacifica

En contra de los Bancos de Wall St. y Corporaciones que están atacando nuestras comunidades, el medio ambiente, la democracia, y nuestro bienestar.

No Vayan al Trabajo ni a la Escuela o Marcharse Afuera.

Organize una acción con un grupos aliados — con amigos,vecinos, alumnos, gente de su iglesia o compañeros de trabajo.

Que?

  • Organize una acción con un grupos aliados — con amigos, vecinos, alumnos, gente de su iglesia o compañeros de trabajo.
  • Por favor, mande un representante de su grupo al Consejo de Accion de Occupy San Francisco cada Domingo a las 2 p.m. en Justin Herman Plaza.

Y por que?

  • Para manifestamos en contra de como funciona Wall St., en nuestro entorno, agrediendo a nuestras comunidades, hogares, ingresos,
    bienestar y la democracia;
  • Para ampliar, profundizar, y movilizar el poder popular del movimiento Occupy y sus aliados;
  • Para fortalecer a las luchas populares actuales por  la justicia económica que se enfrenta a los bancos y corporaciones y
  • Para levantar el movimiento masivo y amplio de los 99% en S.F., la Área de la Bahía, en California y los estados vecinos.

Incorporase con nosotros: 
Occupy SF General Assembly and Action Council, 
Occupy SF State University, 
Occupy SF Housing Coalition (ACCE, Asian Law Caucus, Causa Justa: Just
 Cause, Coalition on Homelessness, Eviction Defense Collaborative,
 Housing Rights Committee, Occupy SF, QUEEN, San Francisco Tenants
 Union)
, Progressive Workers Alliance (includes: Coleman Advocates for Children
 and Youth, Chinese Progressive Association, Filipino Community Center,
 La Raza Centro Legal—Day Laborer Program and Women’s Collective,
 Mujeres Unidas y Activas, People Organized to Demand Environmental and
 Economic Rights, People Organized to Win Employment Rights, Pride at
 Work, Young Workers United), 
Jobs with Justice, 
SF Labor Council
, California Nurses Association
, Pride at Work/HAVOQ (Horizontal Alliance of Very Organized Queers), 
Rainforest Action Network
, Code Pink, ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and Racism)
 Coalition
, 28th Amendment Group
, Move to Amend, 
SF Interfaith Allies of Occupy
, SF 99% Coalition

Volantes y carteles

Occupy SF 2012 Kick-Off: A Financial District Occupation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2012

Contact:
Occupy SF Press Team, (415) 937-7759, press@occupywallstwest.org

Occupy San Francisco Announces 2012 Kick-Off: A Planned San Francisco Financial District Occupation

Wednesday, Jan. 18, 10 AM press conference will highlight 99% demands and plans for a day-long direct action protest this Friday called “Occupy Wall Street West”

WHEN: 10-10:30am, Wednesday, January 18

WHERE: 555 California Street, corner of California and Kearny, outside the corporate offices of Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.

VISUALS: Giant squid illustrating Goldman Sachs as “vampire squid,” large banners.

WHAT: Activists with Occupy Wall Street West will hold a press conference on Wednesday, January 18 to announce their plans to welcome in the new year with daylong protests and direct actions this Friday to disrupt business as usual for banks and corporations complicit in foreclosures, economic injustice, war profiteering and labor rights violations. With dozens of affinity groups and over 55 organizations targeting specific banks and companies, this is predicted to be the largest street protest of the Financial District since anti-war protests in 2003. The press conference will feature speakers addressing multiple constituencies of the 99% such as students, Iraq veterans, anti-war, anti-corporate personhood and environmental activists, queer and interfaith organizers, workers, home-owners and tenants. Featured speakers include R. Warren Langley, President (ret), Pacific Stock Exchange; and Vivian Richardson, a San Francisco homeowner who faced bank foreclosure (see bios below).

Occupy Wall Street West actions will target Wall St. banks and corporations complicit in attacking Bay Area communities, homes, education environment, livelihood, and democracy. The activists demand that banks stop predatory evictions and foreclosures and an end to corporate personhood; and they aim to continue building and mobilizing a strategic mass movement asserting the people power of the 99% for economic justice and a better world.

The January 20 Occupy Wall St West actions are the culmination of actions in which hundreds of protestors successfully shut down bank branches in the Excelsior, Mission, and Bernal neighborhoods. As part of the national January 20 “Occupy the Courts” day of action protests will include a demonstration against corporate personhood at the 9th District Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Timed to coincide with the opening of the stock market, Friday’s actions will start at 6am and will finish with a march starting with speakers and a flashmob at Bradley Manning (Justin Herman) Plaza and traveling to 555 California St. for a lively street party.

ADDITIONAL PRESS INFO:

For interview requests and hot action story tips:
Call: (415) 937-7759
Email: press@occupywallstwest.org

For featured news roll, videostreams, and twitter feeds:
See www.occupywallstwest.org and www.occupysf.org

Subscribe to press list to obtain photos and video of the actions: www.occupywallstwest.org/press

Actions are identified on the action map (www.occupywallstwest.org/map) and action list (www.occupywallstwest.org/actions)

Warren Langley served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Pacific Exchange in San Francisco. Prior to that, he was a Principal and Chief Operating Officer of Hull Trading in Chicago and is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

Vivian Richardson, a San Francisco homeowner faced bank foreclosure of her home with a December 31, 2011 eviction date. After public protest of the bank with neighbors, a community group and Occupy SF last November, her loan was modified and her home saved.

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.

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.

Over 50 additional organizations are participating in the Occupy Wall Street West Day of Action including: 28th Amendment Group, Ack-Act Theater, ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and Racism Coalition), Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Asian Law Caucus, Bail Out the People Movement, Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace & Justice, California Nurses Association, Causa Justa: Just Cause, Coalition on Homelessness, Chinese Progressive Association, CODEPINK Women for Peace, Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, Dancing Without Borders, Eviction Defense Collaborative, Filipino Community Center, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, Homonomixxx, Housing Rights Committee, International Action Center, Jobs with Justice, La Raza Centro Legal—Day Laborer Program and Women’s Collective, Move to Amend, Move to Amend, Olympia, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, NationofChange, Occupy Bernal, Occupy Berkeley, Occupy MJC (Modesto Junior College), Occupy Oakland, Occupy SF General Assembly and Action Council, Occupy SF Housing Coalition, Occupy SFSU, People Organized to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights, People Organized to Win Employment Rights, Pride at Work, Pride at Work/HAVOQ (Horizontal Alliance of Very Organized Queers), Progressive Workers Alliance, QUEEN, Rainforest Action Network, San Francisco for Democracy, San Francisco Labor Council, San Francisco Tenants Union, SF 99% Coalition, SF Gray Panthers, SF Interfaith Allies of Occupy, SF-NOW, Workers World Party, Young Workers United.

###

200+ Protestors in the Mission Demand Wells Fargo End For-Profit Evictions and Foreclosures

Update: Six protestors on the roof were charged with misdemeanor protest and released after a few hours detainment. Montana was also released, but not until later and may face different charges. One other protestor named Blondie SF was cited and released for “walking illegally”.

More than 200 protestors gathered for a rally in the plaza at Mission St and 16th St in San Francisco this afternoon to demand that Wells Fargo Bank immediately stop for-profit evictions and foreclosures. After hearing from several speakers, the group chanted and carried signs to the nearby Wells Fargo branch. Some protestors managed to scale the roof and hang banners protesting evictions and foreclosures, as well as pitching a tent on the bank’s roof. Police responded by calling the fire department, which drove a large fire truck into the bank branch parking lot and extended the truck’s ladder onto the bank’s roof. After negotiations between police and protestors which involved a dialog with the bank branch manager about setting up a meeting with Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, police told protestors they had to leave the roof. Protestors decided to cooperate and police cuffed and arrested at least four protestors.

Protestors marched to the Mission Police Station in solidarity with the arrested protestors, the crowd blocking one lane of traffic on Valencia St. Police unexpectedly arrested at least one more protestor Montana, who plays the drum in the Brass Liberation Orchestra, for an unknown reason (possibly an alleged felony assault on a police officer), leaving two distraught children behind. A friend of the person arrested took care of the children and brought them to the police station downtown to be reunited with the woman who is apparently their mother (hard to confirm the facts for certain). Folks are rallying for her at 12:30pm, Sunday, January 15, 2012, at 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco.

Gradually, most of the protestors left the police station, some to go to the police station downtown in solidarity with those arrested.

Update: more pictures from Krissana.

The What, Why, and How of Affinity Groups

What Is an Affinity Group?

An Affinity Group (AG) is a group of people who share common interests, perspectives and feel an emotional bond to each other and choose to come together to achieve a certain goal. AGs can exist as a part of or independent from larger actions. Some affinity groups form and exist only during a particular protest or action; others work together for years and may both participate in larger demonstrations as well as other ongoing autonomous actions.

Why Do We Form Affinity Groups?

We form AGs so that we can accomplish something with a manageable number of people. We come together in order to better understand the problem and strategize a means of changing the situation. But “I mean, why don’t we just all get together and march and chant things and hold signs and then go home?”

Well, let’s take the upcoming action. The January 20th Occupy Wall Street West action is challenging the housing crisis and huge financial institutions and corporate personhood. Forming affinity groups allows us to take on these big ideas in really tangible ways. Having numerous, smaller groups makes it possible for us to take on many different aspects of these huge issues all at the same time. We can also focus on different priorities, strategies and tactics. This way, we don’t all march to the Wells Fargo HQ; some groups take that on while others may go to a different bank or the courts or who knows? It also means that one group may do something that risks arrest while another may act as support like legal or medics.

Working as affinity groups is one of many ways that we don’t just say that this is a leaderless movement but, in our actions and, display the effectiveness of horizontal organizing within and amongst groups.

How Do You Form an Affinity Group?

Ask people to join you. Seriously. If you have ever had conversations with friends, coworkers, family, neighbors, fellow union members or organizing buddies or anyone like that about something that you all wished could change, get together with those folks and make a plan to make it happen.

What Are Examples of Affinity Group Actions?

Affinity Groups are not a new idea. For years, people have been forming them in order to accomplish any number of goals. A recent example is this past fall when, during a large demonstration, a group of people got together to close down the main branch of Wells Fargo in San Francisco. Within this group, were several smaller affinity groups, each of whom took on blockading one entrance/exit to the building. These groups were made up of people whose priorities ranged from immigrant rights, economic inequality and housing rights among others. Some other examples include:

  • in the large-scale anti-globalization demonstrations of ten years ago, affinity groups would take on blockading entrances to convention centers or holding intersections or running communication or medic teams or doing a banner drop
  • a longer-term AG could take on routine wheat-pasting and poster hanging around their neighborhood, town or city
  • sometimes an AG is just a means for a group of folks to be organized to look out for each other at a larger protest
  • sometimes it could be a means of folks educating each other; a study or reading group could be or turn into an affinity group

Link: more info on creating an affinity group

(Thanks to Casey for writing this up!)

100+ Protestors Shut Down Four Bank Branches in the Excelsior Triangle

More than a hundred protestors today shut down four bank branches in San Francisco’s Excelsior district to protest bank evictions and foreclosures of home owners and renters in the Excelsior and beyond. One protestor, Craig Rouskey, was arrested for refusing to leave the Bank of America branch as security closed the bank. Thanks to ACCE’s Excelsior group, Occupy SF Housing, and Occupy Wall St West for organizing this action.

Links: Peter Menchini’s pix

[Please feel free to repost and attribute photos below to occupywallstwest.org.]

Run On The Banks: No More Evictions or Foreclosures For Profit!

Occupy SF Housing Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Amitai Heller or Stardust, +1 415 937-7759, press@occupywallstwest.org

Run On The Banks: No More Evictions or Foreclosures For Profit!

San Francisco Protests to Keep Our Neighbors in Our Homes

San Francisco – January 3, 2012 – Occupy SF Housing today invited the 99% to participate in an escalating series of “Run On The Bank” actions to demand an end to for-profit evictions and foreclosures in San Francisco and beyond:

* 12:00-1:00pm, Thursday, January 5: Bank of America, 3250 Mission St.
Senior protestors from Occupy Bernal tell B of A to stop raising fees, pay fair taxes, and use the bailout money to stop foreclosures.

* 12:00 noon, Saturday, January 7: Persia Triangle in Excelsior District (Mission St., Persia Ave. and Ocean Ave. intersection)
The banks evict thousands of renters and homeowners in San Francisco each year. San Francisco’s Excelsior District has been especially hard hit by the wealthy 1% bank corporations preying on the 99%. This action will protest evictions and foreclosures by Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase, demand that the banks reverse evictions to get people back in their homes, and ask people of the Excelsior to withdraw their money from these predatory banks.

* 12:00-1:00pm, Thursday, January 12: Bank of America, 3250 Mission St.
Senior protestors from Occupy Bernal tell B of A to stop raising fees, pay fair taxes, and use the bailout money to stop foreclosures.

* 12:00 noon, Saturday, January 14: Plaza above 16th St Mission BART station
No more for-profit evictions in the Mission District!

* 6:00-8:00pm, Sunday, January 15: Location TBA
Occupy SF will conduct a General Assembly/Town Hall Meeting in the Mission District – everyone from the neighborhood is welcome/encouraged to attend and participate in an open discussion regarding issues local to the Mission and their correlation with the Occupy Movement

* All Day, Friday, January 20: Dozens of Locations Focused on SF Financial District
Occupy Wall St West actions to shut down the financial district’s banks and corporations most involved in evicting tenants and homeowners.

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

To sign up for the presslist and/or obtain photos and video of the actions, see http://www.occupywallstwest.org/wordpress/?page_id=20

For more information, see http://www.occupywallstwest.org and http://www.occupysf.org.

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