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From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Sun Apr 29 2012Demonstrators Confront Wells Fargo Shareholders
Sun Apr 29 2012Wells Fargo Shareholder Meeting Invaded and Surrounded by Protesters in San Francisco
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. Beforehand, some demonstrators had moved into the building's lobby, while others chained themselves together, putting sleeves around their arms to make it hard for police to cut them apart to arrest them.
A group of religious, union and community representatives had purchased shares of stock in the bank, supposedly allowing them to attend the shareholders meeting. Some even held proxies, allowing them to vote the stock belonging to others. As the rally swirled outside, and speeches and songs filled the streets now vacant of their normal traffic, the police closed off the building and refused to let the shareholders inside.
Maria Poblete, from the housing rights organization Just Cause, and Cinthiya Muñoz, from Alameda County United to Defend Immigrant Rights, spoke from a flatbed truck in front of the bank, reminding the crowd of the reasons they'd brought their protests to the bank's doors. "Shareholders want to meet about how to best reap profits from foreclosures, for-profit prisons and detention centers, student loans, and tax evasion," Poblete shouted. "Today the bank can see that there's no more business as usual. We say no!"
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