It's Alive! Occupy Actions Across the Country Show the Movement's Impact
Continued from previous page
Reports reached us that a group of clerics and other Occupy Faith members were planning a symbolic sit-in in front of the Wall Street Bull, so we headed that way next but found ourselves instead in a scrum on the sidewalk on Broadway where more seemingly random arrests happened.
Other reporters scattered throughout the Financial District caught other actions; Nick Pinto of the Village Voice tweeted that the education and debt blocs were joining up briefly to "symbolically enact their interrelation" by shutting down an intersection and stopping a police truck. Molly Knefel of Radio Dispatch reported, "Just saw a cop walking w a giant pink cross, I assume confiscated from Occupy Faith." Citizen Radio's Allison Kilkenny saw, "Two men in suits standing on corner quietly talking. Assumed they're wall street until I heard them discussing #ows tactics."
Today isn't about mass movement-building, though. That's the work these groups are doing day in and day out, off the streets, in their communities, with friends they met in and out of the park. Instead, these days now serve as a moment for the diverse parts of left movements to come together, to remind the enemy--financial firms and other big corporations--that they haven't forgotten.
5 PM ET — San Francisco by Alyssa Figueroa
Over on the West Coast, Occupy San Francisco has planned a day filled with rallies and protests to celebrate Occupy's one year anniversary. Its first action took place at noon today as supporters gathered to hear the stories of elderly veterans whose homes are being foreclosed on. In the video here, Rita Hall speaks for her godfather Alfred Richardson who recently lost his home.
Don and Tina Baird were also in attendance. They have owned their home since 1966, but as Tina stated, "were granted loans they shouldn't have been granted." They have tried to get a bank loan modification, but to no avail. Don served in the U.S. Coast Guard, will turn 90 this month and is set to have heart surgery on Sept. 27. He faces eviction on Sept. 24. Don said of the banks, "It's greed. It's the nature of capitalism. It's one of our big flaws, this competitive society. The rich control everything. I feel like the banks have abused our freedoms." Protesters then marched across the street to rally in front of Chase bank, the bank responsible for the Baird's foreclosure. They vowed to fight the banks from evicting these elderly veterans. So far, Occupy groups in San Francisco have saved 52 people's homes from foreclosure eviction and have stopped 300 homes from being auctioned.
8 PM ET — San Francisco by Alyssa Figueroa
Occupy San Francisco continued their actions today by protesting against foreclosures, evictions and the criminalization of homelessness.
Occupiers sat down in front of Harvey Milk Plaza to protest San Francisco's Sit/Lie ban, which bans sitting or lying on the city's sidewalks for all, but ultimately is most detrimental to the homeless. Community Not Commodity, an LGBT Occupy coalition that organized the rally, said the ban severely affects LGBT youth, who make up 40 percent of the population.
Prior to the sit-in, protesters gathered in front of several banks in the Castro neighborhood to demand an end to foreclosures and evictions. The group shouted:
"We demand that all evictions within our community cease immediately. Instead of investing in toxic wars and criminalization, we demand that all of our communities are provided with access to health care, affordable housing, food. And we demand that the laws of justice respect the needs of the people over the needs of banks and corporations. Evict Wells Fargo!"