UC Berkeley demonstrators occupy San Francisco bank

SAN FRANCISCO — A group of protesters, including students from UC Berkeley, occupied a Bank of America branch in San Francisco Wednesday afternoon during an Occupy San Francisco march.

Of the 95 demonstrators cited for trespassing at the bank, around five were UC Berkeley students.

The UC Berkeley demonstrators were part of a larger group that crossed the bay earlier Wednesday to march past offices with which UC Regents have ties. At its peak, the march swelled to over 1,000 protesters, most of whom were students from UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley.

Demonstrators targeted Bank of America because UC Regent Monica Lozano is a board member at the bank.

Upon occupying the bank, protesters called for Lozano to sign a pledge promising to support, among other things, higher taxation of the super rich and the reversal of recent tuition increases. Bank management called Lozano, but she did not answer. Protesters then left a message demanding her signature on the petition.

Organizers expressed satisfaction with turnout and how the occupation had unfolded.

“I think we made it clear … that students, teachers and workers have paid enough, and now the regents and their corporations and the rest of Wall Street need to pay for public education,” said Charlie Eaton, a UC Berkeley graduate student and financial secretary for the United Auto Workers Local 2865.

The union, which represents graduate student workers at UC campuses, spent around $20,000 to provide buses for students who wanted to attend the rally or, if they were in Southern California, a protest at the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach, according to Eaton.

Many UC Berkeley student organizers expressed dissatisfaction toward the ASUC for sending out a last-minute email to students the previous night announcing plans to bus students to Sacramento for a different rally.

“The ASUC broke processes of democratic coalition (by) sending (out the) email about Sacramento,” said Blanca Misse, a fifth-year graduate student in the UC Berkeley French department.

She said more students might have come had the ASUC not diverted attention from the San Francisco protest.

Even with the ASUC’s decision, hundreds of UC Berkeley students arrived in San Francisco with signs and banners declaring their support for public education and the Occupy movement.

“We’re tired of all the fee increases,” said Ryan Ng, a UC Berkeley sophomore. “I’m not covered by financial aid, and another fee increase when (I’m) already struggling is just terrifying.”

The protest was organized by ReFund California, a statewide coalition aiming to “make Wall Street banks pay for destroying jobs and neighborhoods with their greedy, irresponsible and predatory business practices,” according to its website.

Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comment policy
  • Uoeurlejfa

  • Michelle

    You can tell these kid’s don’t have jobs, most of them come from well off families. When I went to Berkeley I worked full to pay for my classes, that’s life. Life is hard so they need to get into the real world and grow up. What’s irritating is that are hurting the little people in the process, not helping us. I work in  San Francisco and these people are idiots, I’m tired of being late for work, getting yelled at by protester, and walking over bodily fluids because I have to pay my bills. If they really wanted to help they wouldn’t stand in from of small businesses, this only hurts small business owners and workers, but if you don’t have to work hard for a living how would you know right. Also these fools aren’t even from the Bay Area, they are dirty and destroy property and need to be kicked out. 

    • Anon

      Why would students from well to do families care about fee increases? They’re rich. They don’t give a damn. We’re glad you worked to pay for your classes, but you didn’t attend Berkeley when there was a 81% fee increase now, did you? Also, 1.) protesters are anti-big corporations and 2.) they need to eat just like everyone else. So do you really think they’re eating at Subway and not the local mom and pop store down the street? Bad for small business? Nope. Great for small business.

      • Tony M

        Those protesters need to be relocated to some country where there are no “big corporations” to affect the food supply, and see what the alternative is like. Cuba and North Korea come to mind…

  • Guest

    Pretty Boy Floyd never presented bankers with petitions.

  • guest

    wow these people are idiots.  harassing these local branches and tellers is a sure way to stick it to “the man.”  they make less than any professor at Berkeley.

  • guest

    Since when is it everyone else obligation to pay for a college students education?

    • Alex

      Since the UCs were made public universities, herp derp.

  • Anonymous

    Keep it up!  BofA is so wealthy that it is about to lay off 30,000 employees, and the protests will help convince it to lay off even more Bay Area employees so it can relocate entire departments to friendlier, less expensive cities in Red States.  Which is great news to Occupy Cal because that means many laid-off BofA workers can now join them in their campouts.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/02/bank-of-america-layoffs-_n_1071529.html

  • Memorysin

    Live feed of the Occupy BoA Sf

  • Memorysin
  • Sweet.