9/18 6:58 AM: Occupy protestors who gathered at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco overnight to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Occupy protests avoided clashes with police.
A couple dozen protestors with tents remained at the plaza Tuesday morning.
San Francisco police gave protestors a 6 a.m. deadline to disassemble any tents pitched in the plaza Monday night, police said.
By 6 a.m. the protestors had voluntarily collapsed the tents and only a small group of police officers remained at the plaza.
A San Francisco police spokesman said the protestors were cooperative and took down tents that were pitched over night without assistance from police.
10:13 PM: Occupy San Francisco protesters have returned to Justin Herman Plaza this evening vowing to “retake” the site of their previous encampment.
The plaza along the Embarcadero–dubbed Bradley Manning Plaza by the protesters for a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks–was turned into a bustling camp late last year before protesters were told to evacuate the plaza by city officials.
Protesters returned to the plaza tonight following a day of rallies and marches to mark the one-year anniversary since the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York.
Marches through downtown San Francisco streets this afternoon disrupted traffic and Muni service sporadically before a 5 p.m. rally in front of 555 California St.
Following the rally, several hundred protesters marched to Wells Fargo headquarters at 420 Montgomery St., gathering there for several hours.
A brass band was among those marching, and another group stood behind a large yellow banner proclaiming themselves “Foreclosure Fighters,” the banner’s background scrawled with the names of banks and investment firms like Fannie Mae and Chase.
The protesters chanted as they marched, including Occupy mainstays like “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out” and appropriated chants for the day like, “The system has got to die, happy birthday Occupy.”
Outside of Wells Fargo’s headquarters, demonstrators threw debt slips and financial paperwork into a trashcan, symbolically sending the banks a message that they did not intend to repay their debts.
Others painted a large yellow mural on the street that said, “Democracy not debt.”
One protester, Scott Rossi, said he had been with Occupy SF from the beginning and that he was heartened to see such a large turnout for today’s rally and march.
Rossi said that today’s crowd appeared to be a little more militant and radical than the crowds Occupy protests initially drew last year.
Protesters then marched back through city streets, eventually arriving at Justin Herman Plaza at about 9 p.m., where they remained tonight vowing to “retake” the plaza. No arrests have been reported.
6:37 PM: Several hundred protesters with Occupy San Francisco have gathered in front of the Wells Fargo headquarters in San Francisco’s Financial District this evening on the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests.
Downtown traffic and Muni service has been sporadically disrupted throughout the afternoon, as protesters marched before and after a 5 p.m. rally in front of 555 California St.
Following the rally, protesters marched down Montgomery Street to Market Street and marched past the Federal Reserve building at 101 Market St., the site of the original Occupy San Francisco encampment that began late last year.
The protesters then circled back to the Wells Fargo headquarters and have gathered out front.
Among the marchers is a brass band and another group behind a large yellow banner proclaiming themselves “Foreclosure Fighters,” the background scrawled with the names of banks and investment firms like Fannie Mae and Chase.
The protesters have been yelling and chanting as they march, the chants including Occupy mainstays like “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out” and appropriated chants for the day like, “The system has got to die, happy birthday Occupy.”
6:07 PM: Protesters with Occupy San Francisco are blocking traffic on Market Street this evening as they march on the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests.
Downtown traffic and Muni service has been disrupted throughout the afternoon, as protesters marched and held a rally at 5 p.m. in front of 555 California St. Following the rally, protesters started marching again, moving down Montgomery Street to Market Street.
The marchers are approaching the Federal Reserve at 101 Market St., the site of the original Occupy San Francisco encampment that began late last year.
12:43 PM: Protesters began gathering in San Francisco’s Financial District late Sunday and expect hundreds more for a planned march tonight on the one-year anniversary of the start of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The march is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. in front of 555 California St., where protesters held a rally this morning to announce their plans.
“The financiers have stolen the American economy,” Jane Smith said. “They have completely ruined it for the rest of the American people and because we don’t have millions of dollars to contribute to politicians’ campaigns, our voices are not heard.”
Smith, a University of California at Berkeley alumnus and Marin County resident, was the first person to arrive at that location Sunday afternoon and camped out overnight with other protesters.
“It’s been an adventure,” she said. “It became very clear, very quickly that we’re all being hosed. We’re all being lied to.”
The protest is one of several demonstrations throughout San Francisco today.
Demonstrators will be at the San Francisco War Memorial Building at 401 Van Ness Ave. at noon to protest foreclosures on veterans and seniors.
A debt burning and street festival is also planned for 6 p.m. at California and Montgomery streets in which people can bring their debt papers and burn them, according to the group Occupy Bay Area United.
LGBT and Castro District community members will also host a sit-in at 2 p.m. at Harvey Milk Plaza to denounce the sit-lie law, which prohibits sitting or lying on public streets in San Francisco.
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose said no Muni service disruptions are anticipated but that the agency will monitor the protests throughout the day.