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11 min audio of voices from Occupy Wall St West J20 Action
This 11 minute audio record includes a rally against evictions and foreclosures in front of BofA Regional Headquarters in SF, a street theater performance in front of Wells Fargo, and a teach-in in front of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, making the connection between predatory evictions and foreclosures, detention and deportation to break up immigrant families and communities under the guise of national security and big bank’s investment in for-profit criminalization.
Gathered at the Bank of America Regional Headquarters entrance is a rally of five to six hundred people. We hear the story of one family’s house foreclosure after an admitted BofA error that the now-mortgage-holder Fannie Mae will not reconcile. Lost homes in San Francisco neighborhoods are enumerated, including 979 in the Bernal Heights area, 1022 in Portola and Visitation Valley, 465 family homes in the Bayview, 1918 including the Excelsior District, and an additional 9976 family homes in other areas of the city. Clergy and religious leaders blow horns of Jericho as the rally cries “We raise up human need. We bring down Wall Street greed.”
En mass we move to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). On the way we pass Iraq Veterans Against the War on their way to their own street theatre detaining fellow protestors per the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision permitting the arrest and indefinite detention of US citizens anywhere in the world, including the US. ICE uses detention and deportation to break up immigrant families and communities under the guise of national security and is intimately linked to big bank’s investment in for-profit criminalization. A street theatre performance and teach-in makes this point abundantly clear.
The seven people blockading the Bank of America branch since eight o’clock this morning need their own blockade between them and an impeding arrival of riot police. Several hundred from the ICE protest rally work our way through Chinatown as residents wave from storefronts and windows above. As we pass by the Wells Fargo headquarters I see wooden barriers going up in front of the building effectively self-blockading access to ATMs and the building entrances. Way to go, Wells Fargo! Others also converge at the BofA blockaded branch and the riot police disperse. On the sidewalk across the street I hold my sign. People in business attire walk past. Some look straight ahead. But some read my pizza box sign “Human Need not Corporate Greed” on one side and “Compassion is in our genes Human need NOT corporate greed”on the other. They look at me for the briefest of moments. This recognition happens more consistently than I expect. I see a twitch in one man’s eye as he catches my gaze. A slight raise of an eyebrow in a woman. A light nod by another. The eye-twitcher walks by a second time. It is 3:00 and raining quite hard now. By six o’clock, those seven people had stayed chained together for ten hours to successfully shut down this bank.