Bank Transfer Day Sees March and Rally in Downtown San Diego Against BofA Branch in Gas Lamp District
Several hundred San Diegans marched and rallied in downtown San Diego yesterday (Nov 5, 2011) against Bank of America. It was Bank Transfer Day, and as hundreds of thousands of Americans withdraw their monies from the large banks, locals too were closing their accounts.
Sponsored by Occupy San Diego, MoveOn and Veterans for Peace, a crowd gathered at the Civic Center Plaza about 10:30 in the morning. The Plaza has been the site on the on-going Occupy San Diego movement as it enters the anniversary of its first month.
As part of the larger demonstration, a chapter of MoveOn, the South Park Council, had organized a mock Funeral of the American Dream and numerous demonstrators were dressed in black appropriately. They were joined by organizers and activists from several other MoveOn Councils and the Veterans, and by occupiers at the Plaza – who had just weathered a drenching rain storm the night and day before.
About 10:45, the crowd surged onto Third Avenue taking to the street, marched along Broadway and took a right to go south down Fourth Avenue. At Island Street, marchers turned and briefly rallied outside the Bank of America branch on that short block. More people joined the assembly at that point, yet most of the protesters then paraded off with chants and clamor to march around the Gas Lamp District for another half hour.
When the marchers returned to the B of A branch, the crowd there had grown. This time a row of San Diego police officers lined the outside door and window of the branch. As the crowd closed in, an occupier blew “Taps” on his trumpet during a rare moment of silence, in honor of those who lost monies due to Bank of America and who have had their American dream die.
So, for about an hour, the demonstrators, estimated to be at least 250, chanted, listened to a few speeches, and noisily encouraged a few people who went inside the branch to close their account, as they massed near the branch’s door. The mood was actually festive and energetic. There was no real tension at all.
Finally, the protesters regathered and marched back to the Plaza, and most dispersed to go home. Yet, a number stayed, and planned to spend the night as Occupy San Diego continues.
Gallery of Photos from Bank Transfer Day Action in Downtown San Diego
(click on photo for larger image.)