Today marks the one-year anniversary of the group Occupy Our Homes, an arm of the national Occupy Movement. And how else would you expect members to celebrate the group's birthday than a big, festive, tent-pitching occupation?
At 11 a.m. sharp, protesters will march on down to the Wells Fargo bank on Evan Street and Galvez Avenue, demanding the same thing they've been asking for over the last year: bank accountability and a real solution to the housing crisis.
Twenty seems to be the magic number for the SFPD this week. The cops arrested another 20 protesters last night after the group reportedly put on black masks and broke into a house in the Castro.
According to news reports, the group gathered before 6 p.m. in Dolores Park, where they listened to music for a bit before marching down to 535 Castro and making their way into a vacant house. The whole point was to draw attention to homelessness.
When the cops showed up (in riot gear, from what we hear), the shouting and chanting ensued. You could heard phrases such as "Homes not Jails."
See also: Impromptu Demonstration Gets Out of Hand; Police Blame Protesters, Protesters Blame Police
Occupy isn't gone, it has just moved inside -- where it's much cooler these days.
Far from having their spirits crushed after police raided the last remaining Occupy camp last week (which had become less about occupy and more about the homeless), the Occupy movement has strategically continued to fight for the 99 percent.
During the last year, the massive movement has spawned many branches of itself, including Occupy
the Auctions and Evictions Campaign, Occupy the Dream House, and
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.
And Tuesday was a
big day for these groups, as they worked again to halt a slew of pending
foreclosures before "occupying" a local museum.
Here's something those newly evicted Occupy protesters can do with themselves.
This evening, bitter folks will gather around Bank of America in San Francisco to protest the bank's three-day loan modification customer outreach event. Specifically, the "struggling families," aka protesters, will be there to remind everyone of BofA's poor customer relations.
That makeshift Occupy camp that had become a fixture in downtown San Francisco is no more. According to press reports, some 70 police officers raided the small camp late last night, arresting 20 or so protesters.
The drama started about 11:35 p.m., when police surrounded the campsite on Market Street outside the Federal Reserve Building.
It seems like just yesterday Occupiers had created their own unregulated
cities playgrounds in downtowns, hoping this would help combat American poverty.
Here we are a year later, and it's time to ask: What's really changed?
Well, nothing, of course.
But who gives a damn really, the Occupy Movement is turning 1 year old on Monday, which is a good excuse to party. And how else do you anticipate these disgruntled, jobless folks to celebrate? By tampering with your already rough commute!
This morning, the hard-working folks that make up Occupy Bernal joined the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment to stop San Francisco resident Kim Mitchell from being evicted.
Approximately 40 neighbors and foreclosure fighters convened at his Bayview home where they were prepared to physically block the sheriff from tossing Mitchell from his house.
But the sheriff was reportedly called back, meaning one more San Franciscan is back inside him home today.
San Franciscans found yet another reason to protest PG&E.
Yesterday, on the 67th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, members of OccupySF Environmental Justice Working Group, No Nukes Action, and Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice gathered in front of the Japanese Consulate and marched to PG&E's headquarters to protest nuclear power plants in Japan and California.
At the Japanese Consulate, protesters gathered to urge the Japanese government to halt its restarting of the country's reactors. After singing and dancing to a song of resistance and chanting anti-nuclear slogans, protesters presented the consulate with a petition bearing more than 1,000 signatures to end Japanese nuclear power.
Japan recently reopened Reactor 4 at Fukushima, which melted down following a tsunami and earthquake in March 2011. This nuclear meltdown contaminated "thousands of people as well as the fish we eat here in California," the protest group said in a written statement.
Here's one victory Occupy protesters can claim: Lt. John Pike, the pepper-spraying happy cop at UC Davis, is no longer on the police force.
No word on whether Pike, who callously sprayed a group of students participating in a peaceful protest last year, was fired; university officials have remained tight-lipped about the circumstances of his departure.
"Consistent with privacy guidelines established in state law and
university policy, I can confirm that John Pike's employment with the
university ended on July 31, 2012," Barry Shiller, spokesman for UC Davis, told media outlets. "I'm unable to comment
However, the Sacramento Bee reports that Pike's departure coincided with an internal affairs investigation into his
and other officers' actions on the campus quad on Nov. 18, when Pike doused a group of students and protesters who had been seated and refused to disperse, per police orders.
Since Occupy Bernal has proven to be the only local Occupy group to actually get shit done, homeowners in Noe Valley went ahead and formed a similar movement, riffing off Bernal's model of not occupying.
In other words, no tents necessary.
Tomorrow, Occupy Noe will start collecting signatures at the Noe Valley Bank of America to protest the pending foreclosure of one of their dear neighbors: the Musni family.
Occupy Noe tells us that the Musnis have lived in their Noe Valley home on Randall Street for a loooong 40 years, where they raised seven children. Now, the Musnis, who are senior citizens, are on the brink of losing their home after struggling to negotiate a mortgage payment with the much-despised BofA.