Chanting “Who bailed the banks out? We bailed the banks out” while marching in their own financial district, San Franciscans are the latest to join a proliferating movement.
The 14-day-old movement that began in Manhattan has now reached the Pacific in San Francisco, as Occupy Wall Street broadens its base of operations, becoming Occupy Together. City supervisor and mayoral candidate John Avalos opened up the day in San Francisco’s financial district with a speech that called for banks to be held accountable for their use of taxpayers’ money from the bailouts.
Beginning at Bank of America, where the speech took place, the protesters marched to Charles Shwab, then to Chase, where six protesters were arrested for staging a sit-in inside the bank. At the time of her arrest, one of the protesters claimed she was losing her home to Chase.
“Make banks pay,” was one of the most popular signs held at the protest, with others proclaiming “Take it back. Tax Wall Street.” The movement’s physical epicenter may be diffusing, but the message is growing more unified.
The soon-to-be-published newspaper meant to control the protest’s message in NYC and globally as well is accruing funds while drafting their first issue. Their Kickstarter project already has over 450 backers and more than their target goal for funding, which isn’t to say they wouldn’t appreciate your contribution.
Even though this was their first major public event, organizers in San Francisco say they have been and will continue holding daily meetings in the evening at Justin Herman Plaza (1 Market Street).
ProPublica has a great list showing exactly where the bailout money went. An underreported fact: although the majority of the money went to institutions in New York, over 23 states received more than 2 billion dollars to individual banks.
Cities joining the movement by creating a presence in financial districts include Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, DC, Dallas, Madison, Los Vegas, and Denver and more. Outside of America, the same thing is happening in Vancouver, Toronto, London, Melbourne, Brisbane, Madrid, Valencia, Lisbon, Athens, Sydney, Stuttgart, Tokyo, Milan, Amsterdam, Algiers and Tel Aviv.
You can help the original protesters in Zuccotti Park by signing a petition to Brookfield Office Properties, Inc., which owns the park and might make it difficult for protests to continue there.