95 arrested at Bank of America protest

Protesters have set up a tent inside the Bank of America branch. (Dan McMenamin/Bay City News)
November 17, 2011 1:06:17 AM PST
Wednesday Occupy protesters took over a Bank of America branch, pounding on desks, and defaced walls. A bank manager demanded they leave, but that didn't happen until police moved in and started making arrests. There were 95 that were arrested.

This occupation of Bank of America in San Francisco could be a sign of tactics to come, with demonstrators leaving their encampment and targeting banks.

It was just before three o'clock when occupy protesters invaded this Bank of America on the corner of California and Davis. They hopped on tables, chanted, wrote messages that read "make banks pay" and even put up a tent.

"This is basically saying, 'Hey, we know what you're doing is wrong, so we're going to protest it by coming in, sitting in your bank and shutting down the operation for the day,'" said

It wasn't just bank of America, though. The entire building closed down.

"They came on the intercom and just said, 'Hey, you know, there's protesters downstairs, the building's on lockdown. Just please remain on your floors, you know, don't be alarmed.' We locked down the office, shut all the doors," said Joe Murrell, who works on the 17th floor.

The bank manager wanted the trespassers out. So police gave them the option to leave. Some walked out, but most did not. There were 95 arrests. One by one, they were led out the building and into police vans as supporters cheered and onlookers tried to catch a glimpse of the action, which was tense at times.

"The officers were taking bottles from the protesters and at some points we've even had protesters grab the handgun of some of the officers that were in their holsters and try to remove their batons from them," said San Francisco Officer Carlos Manfredi.

Those who were arrested were taken to the county jail where they were cited for trespassing and will be released.

The Bank of America protest was just one element of the day's march. Dozens of demonstrators continued on to the state building at San Francisco's Civic Center protesting tuition hikes and calling for the state to provide free education. The "Re-fund Public Education" march was organized to protest the cancellation of the U.C. Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco. It was cancelled over concerns that the protests would turn violent.

uReport:
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