Protesters march into San Francisco banks


About 30 protesters gathered at noon at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Mission Street, where some of the participants told their foreclosure stories before the group marched toward local banks including Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo.

"We have to take this stand here on the road," San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos said. Avalos and other local official were invited to the event. Board of Supervisor President David Chiu and Supervisor Malia Cohen were also in attendance.

Speaking to the large group, Avalos said, "I want to thank you for your courage to take back your homes."

Along the march, which retraced its steps several times in reaching individual bank branches that were a block off the starting point, protesters chanted "Stop foreclosures, make banks pay," and "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out."

Protesters were denied entrance into the Wells Fargo at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Mission Street.

The protest and letter to the banks were organized by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE.

The list of demands include face-to-face mediation for those being foreclosed on, banks helping to rebuild San Francisco neighborhoods and banks paying all their property taxes.

Carlos Gonzalez, 18, and his family were foreclosed upon this past year and said it has affected more than just their housing situation.

"My mom was very ill and it worried us a lot, and because of that we took on family therapy," Gonzalez said. "About a week ago, we got in contact with ACCE, and this Wednesday we met organized today."

Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, a housing non-profit, helped prevent the family's first foreclosure two years ago but had pursued additional help from ACCE.

The events of today were a part of a national day of action that encouraged people to move their money from corporate banks to credit unions and local banks.

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