Police arrest San Francisco protesters inside bank

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:02am EST

1 of 10. A banker is surrounded by protesters from the Occupy San Francisco movement who took over a Bank of America branch in San Francisco, California November 16, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Police arrested scores of anti-Wall Street protesters in San Francisco on Wednesday after they occupied a Bank of America branch in the city's financial district.

Demonstrators flooded into the bank during an organized march that began at the protesters' downtown encampment and ended at a state office building a few blocks away.

The group set up a tent inside the bank branch as more than 100 bystanders watched from outside and police in riot helmets arrested the occupiers one by one, bringing them to a waiting bus.

One protester waved a sign inside that read "make banks pay." Another held up a sign to a local television station that said they were protesting the link between California's public higher education system and the banks.

The protesters chanted "we are the 99 percent" as they were taken into custody, alluding to the richest 1 percent of the U.S. population that the activists say control a disproportionate share of the nation's wealth and power.

Officer Albie Esparza, a police department spokesman, said 95 demonstrators were arrested in connection with Wednesday's bank protest, most on suspicion of trespassing. He said there were "no claims of injury on either side."

Earlier during the march, the protesters, who carried American flags and signs and beat on drums, could be seen on a Ustream online video of the scene chanting, "Who do you protect, who do you serve?" at the officers.

One threw a small bunch of flowers at the feet of police.

(Additional reporting by Steve Gorman, Dan Whitcomb and Mary Slosson; Writing by Mary Slosson; Editing by Jerry Norton)

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Comments (8)
DawnBerkley wrote:
What idiots.

Nov 16, 2011 9:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Unchained wrote:
Thank you Dawn, history and 310 million US taxpayers are on OWS’s side.
Dawn, it might help your argument if you can you use your big girl words,
instead of the ones you learned on the playground when you were 6 years old.

Nov 17, 2011 12:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jaham wrote:
“Is that guy in the 1%? Probably not, he looks like a personal banker…well, he works at a bank, so let’s ruin his day anyways.”

To think it’s okay to go into someone’s workplace and do this is absurd; comical really, if not sickening. These people have no idea what they are talking about.

“Make banks pay” the sign says…for what I ask? For legally playing a game that the government orchestrated?

More specifically, what did these Bank of America retail employees do?…appalling.

@Unchained…why don’t you use your big girl brain to figure out how to fix the problems you’ve identified, besides impeding on others personal freedoms, for no apparent purpose. What, are they “getting the message out”…well, we’ve heard the message, what is your solution? Nevermind…let me make it easy on you – go “occupy” capitol hill and k street.

But wait, there is a dem president in office and we are a bunch of liberals?

…Where is George Bush when you need him?

Nov 17, 2011 2:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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