Despite all the problems, Occupy San Diego is still occupied by the banks

by on November 2, 2011 · 10 comments

in Civil Rights, Economy, Organizing, Popular, San Diego

Occupy San Diego activist and union supporters march out of the Civic Center Plaza on the way to a Wells Fargo branch. (All photos by Frank Gormlie.)

Today is proof that despite all its problems – the disarray and the disenchantment of officialdom – Occupy San Diego is still focused on the banks; its attention is still occupied by the banks – as the source of the country’s economic woes.  Today saw a march and rally in front of the Wells Fargo branch on B Street.  There is another march and rally against Bank of America being planned on Saturday, November 5th.

Labor Council head Lorena Gonzalez leads crowd on a chant as it leaves Civic Center Plaza on the way to Wells Fargo.

With the help of a kick-off rally at the Civic Center Plaza initiated by the San Diego Labor Council at noon, several hundred demonstrators marched east to “bank central” – the intersection of B Street and 5th Avenue, where a middle-of-the-street impromptu rally was held.

Several marchers dropped to the pavement and began writing slogans against the banks on the asphalt with chalk. “Banks got bailed out – we got sold out” was one.

While speakers at megaphones denounced the banks that towered over those gathered: Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citibank, Lorena Gonzalez, head of the Labor Council, ventured into the Wells Fargo branch at that intersection accompanied by some of her staff and others who wished to withdraw their monies.  Several police officers stood calmly by, but the two private security guards at the nearby Bank of America looked frantic while on their cell phones.

It was “Withdrawal Wednesday” – the day the Labor Council set up to encourage the general route from the big banks. Plus it was a show of solidarity with the General Strike occurring in Oakland.


Labor Council Blocked by Police from Bringing Pizza into the Plaza

Earlier, the Labor Council, its staff and some rank and file showed up at the Plaza with boxes of pizzas as lunch for the Occupy San Diego demonstrators, but were prevented by police officers from bringing in anything they could not carry.  The labor people simply turned around, set up a couple of tables just outside the Plaza, and opened up the boxes for the hungry crowd that surrounded them.

OccupySD activist cited for loud honking

In another sign of the continuing harassment by police of Occupy San Diego activists, one of the organizers was cited by police when he drove by the front of the Plaza and honked his horn in a show of support – as people do all the time at the demonstration of their favorite cause.  He was ticketed for excessive honking.

Police encircle Plaza with Barricades and Locked Doors – Creating Fire Hazard

Barricades set up by police are still present, blocking all the 3rd Avenue entrances to the Plaza except for a four foot opening. Several barricades are set up off the A Street entrance.

And last night, during the General Assembly held at the Plaza, the tall, glass doors at the south end of City Hall were bolted and locked shut.  This arrangement meant that the Plaza had inadequate egress and ingress for emergency vehicles for hours – something the City and Fire Marshall had complained about in their inspection of Occupy San Diego’s original tent encampment back in mid-October.

This means that despite the City’s warning to the occupiers about their violation of fire safety, no one was disturbed that the City’s police has created a fire hazard with their barricading of the Plaza. This double standard has not been lost on the occupiers and their supporters.

Occupy San Diego Regroups

Because its encampment was violently ejected from the Plaza, over 50 of its activists arrested, and with police tightly controlling who and what enters the Plaza area, San Diego’s own Occupy Wall Street movement is attempting to reorganize itself and regroup.

At the General Assembly last night (Tuesday, Nov. 1st), the Safety Committee was reformed in order to deal with issues concerning sexual harassment of and violent threats to the occupiers.  In addition, a Negotiating Committee was set up to begin talks with the Mayor and City Council.

Part of the regrouping is establishing a supportive environment at City College in downtown San Diego.  So, Occupy SD City College is having its very first General Assembly on Thursday, November 3 at 2:00pm, San Diego City College Gorton Quad.

Teach-ins and committee meetings continue to be held at the Plaza daily, with the General Assembly convening at 7pm.

Lawyers Organize to Provide Pro Bono Defense of Arrestees – Who Must Contact the Legal Team

A bank of volunteer lawyers organized by the National Lawyers Guild is set to defend those arrested Friday, October 28th during the police raids of Occupy San Diego’s Plaza encampment and its solidarity station at Children’s Park.  Those arrested and released are urged to contact the legal team with their charges, and arraignment dates and times.  Contact the legal folks at or call the legal Hotline at 619-500-4486.

Unionists and OccupySD folks hold an impromptu rally in the middle of B Street.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Wylie November 2, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Thank you so much for your EXCELLENT coverage of Occupy SD. I will from this day forward forever be a fan of the OB Rag.


Terrie Best November 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Thank you, OB Rag! You are the best.


Jolene Smith November 2, 2011 at 8:34 pm

OB RAG…..What GREAT insight…Coverage….and Truth is brought forth in this Article!!! You Rock


John Lawrence November 3, 2011 at 5:47 am

In a major victory for the Occupy movement, Bank of America has rescinded its $5 monthly charge for using a debit card. Change is possible and will come about when the banksters are threatened with losing money. The largest bank in the country was forced to back down. Now major actions are being taken to institute a Financial Transaction Tax. After that restoring bankruptcy protection for student loans which was taken away in 2006 is crucially important.


mike November 3, 2011 at 9:28 am

We also need to include San Diego’s only headquartered Fortune 500 – Sempra Energy; A cool 269m in the third quarter alone.


Jackie McElveny November 3, 2011 at 11:00 am

Everything I’m hearing from various places in the country is SO heartening, so positive. We ARE the 99% and I think we’re a wake-up call that 99% is a SIZEABLE majority! Ditto the others: thanks to OB Rag for the excellent ongoing coverage of this movement.


mr.rick November 3, 2011 at 11:56 am

It’s no wonder why OSD is focused on the banks. Like Dillenger said “That’s where the money is.” For years the banksters have been thinking the money we put in, is theirs. We need to make them understand that we are giving our money to them for safe keeping. And if they don’t do nothing stupid they can be the richest folks in town.But f#4k up and you’re toast.


Mike Chek November 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm

The actual turnout from OccupySD was not very impressive. Kudos to the labor council and the union members you brought with you. You are helping us keep our focus on the banks. Piss on the police managers for ordering the barricades and for ordering you to keep out your fellow union members with pizza.


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