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Center Column Archives
Thousands of angry homeowners, immigrants, union members, Occupiers and community groups converged on the annual shareholders meeting of Wells Fargo Bank on April 24th. In a carefully choreographed protest, simultaneous marches left Justin Herman Plaza on the city's waterfront, site of the Occupy San Francisco encampment last fall. Demonstrators walked up parallel streets into the financial district, where they encircled the block in which the meeting was set to take place, in the Julia Morgan ballroom of the Merchant's Exchange Building.
On April 18th, in one of the largest rallies in SEIU 1021's history, 23 members were arrested in front of Bank of America Wednesday for taking a stand against mega banks and corporations who have been cheating San Francisco residents for over a decade. More than 1,300 people were chanting “Let the People Go, Arrest the CEOs,” as 23 protesters were handcuffed and put into the back of SFPD vans. On the front and back of each protester were large stickers that read “It’s time to draw the line: downtown greed or the city we need.”
On April 22nd, Patricia Jackson wrote:
"If you rambled down to Civic Center Sunday, you might have thought the crowd and the booths could just be another average day event. Then you saw a Whiskey Dome Cycle, a seal made out of all that garbage that gets thrown in the ocean, and the Luvevolution Bus. There was Green Peace and Earth Island Institute — and that was your clue. Earth Day San Francisco, 2012."
On Sunday, April 1st, Occupy SF working groups and affinity groups occupied a vacant building at 888 Turk Street, The idea was to liberate a vacant building and convert it into a social center, shelter and food bank for the people. The SF Commune stated that they initiated the occupation "to provide a perpetual, autonomous headquarters for the Occupy SF movement." The building has space for food preparation and distribution, bedrooms for housing, event rooms for General Assemblies and art projects, classrooms and space for medical services. When San Francisco police raided the building on April 2nd, over 50 people were arrested.
On February 26th, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot dead by self-styled vigilante George Zimmerman in Sandford, Florida. Sanford police did not arrest Zimmerman for killing the unarmed teenager, nor even take physical evidence such as Zimmerman's clothing or the handgun he used that night. Police allowed Zimmerman to walk away without charges under the protection of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. Rallies and marches have been held across the country for Trayvon, including at least three thus far in San Francisco and Oakland.
California's Proposition 8 ban on same sex marriage was ruled unconstitutional by a three member panel of judges from the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Judge Smith dissented. The panel majority stated that California voters violated the 14th Amendment of the Federal Constitution when voting for Prop 8. San Francisco's City Attorney stated that officials are getting ready and changing marriage forms, but that until the stay is lifted same sex couples in California still cannot marry.
For the eighth year, anti-choice Walk for Life demonstrators bussed into San Francisco from across the state marched to protest the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion 39 years ago. However, pro-choice activists celebrated the anniversary of Roe v. Wade with gatherings in the city's Justin Herman Plaza and in downtown Los Altos. Supporters of the Walk for Life West Coast event bemoaned the lack of news coverage given their march.