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Occupy Oakland March Shuts Down Chase Bank Branch, 10/22/11: video
by Dave Id
Saturday Oct 22nd, 2011 11:51 PM
After marching from Oscar Grant Plaza and around Lake Merritt on October 22nd, Occupy Oakland occupiers and supporters stopped in front of the Chase Bank branch on Lakeshore Avenue. Demonstrators began to stream into the bank, filling the branch and chanting, "Chase got bailed out, we got sold out." Bank withdrawal and deposit slips were thrown into the air and within a few minutes demonstrators exited the bank and returned to the thousand-plus marchers in the street. Several protesters remained behind to pick up bank slips from the floor and were locked inside when police moved in to secure the bank. With loud chants of "Let them go, let them go" from the street, those inside were allowed to leave and the march continued on to shut down a Wells Fargo Bank branch by surrounding it before returning to Oscar Grant Plaza.
(video 4:38)

Occupy Oakland Marches on Banks, 10/22/11: photos

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by Eyewitness
Monday Oct 24th, 2011 8:38 PM
As an eyewitness to this account, there was more than just deposit slips thrown up in the air. These are the things not captured on their videos: they overturned tables and chairs, they busted up an outside ATM machine, they terrorized customers and employees who were inside the branch, the threw and shattered a glass container that left glass shattered across the floor, they yanked the door open as an employee was trying to lock the doors, and they tore the cables off of two computer keyboards (one at the customer service desk and one at the first personal banker desk). All that was needed was a little spark for this protest to turn violent towards the people in the building.

You are correct in that there were 4 or 5 people after the police kicked the majority out who tried to start cleaning things up saying we didn’t mean to do this. For some reason they were upset when the police and employees asked them to leave…. Well, if you didn’t mean to do it, then why were they (the ones who said they wanted to help clean up) the first ones who ran into the building and leading the crowd?? The majority of what was on the floor was – shattered glass and hundreds of deposit slips, paper, business cards, and other bank materials. Please don’t comment on things that you didn’t see or experience! You have no clue as to what you are talking about. This was not a “peaceful” protest.

About the police. The police were outside letting the protestors do what they wanted. Their police cars outside the bank before protestors ever entered. Police were called, but it still took them awhile to get into the banking center. Their only response was: “you should have closed the doors sooner” as if the employees were at fault for working (to support their families) and not being able to shut the doors quickly enough – even though the door was ripped out of one employees hand as they were trying to shut the door. … In addition, the police had to use their batons to keep the door shut because it wouldn’t lock properly after they jerked the doors open. Even after the police got the doors shut, people were still pulling on the doors and hitting the glass.

As someone who might have had sympathy for this movement before, I have no sympathy now. Protesting is one thing. Vandalism is another.