A total of 95 people were arrested after a group of protesters stormed a Bank of America branch in downtown San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon and refused to leave, a police spokesman said today.
The protesters were participating in the “ReFund Public Education March” through the Financial District to protest the cancellation of the University of California Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco this week.
At about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, at least 100 protesters rushed into the bank at 50 California St. near Davis Street, standing on desks inside and chanting, “We are the 99 percent.”
At about 2:40 p.m., bank officials asked police to give an order to disperse and while some protesters left, many remained and some erected a tent in the middle of the bank.
Police in riot gear then tried to secure the building, scuffling with protesters, some of whom were trying to get out while others were trying to block the doorways.
Vans and buses from the sheriff’s office eventually arrived and, shortly before 4 p.m., protesters started to be taken out one by one in plastic handcuffs.
Police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said today that 95 people were arrested and cited for trespassing in the bank.
The march through the Financial District had included members of the Occupy SF movement, as well as students and members of public-sector unions.
The marchers were focusing on three members of the UC Regents: Richard Blum, chair of Blum Capital Partners; George Marcus, who heads a commercial real estate brokerage firm; and Monica Lozano, who is a Bank of America board member.
Before storming the Bank of America branch, the protesters sat in the middle of streets in the Financial District outside the offices of Marcus and Blum.
The march eventually progressed to the State Building near Civic Center Plaza before ending for the evening.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News