Almost 800 people marched through downtown San Francisco on Wednesday as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement that has sprung up across the country since mid September, voicing their concern over the widening disparity between the rich and poor.
The crowd has chanted "Who bailed the banks out? We bailed the banks out!" and "We are the 99 percent," in reference to their argument that 1 percent of the U.S. population controls the wealth. Most demonstrators were teachers, nurses, professionals and financial district employees on lunch break. They first gathered at Federal Reserve Bank, marched down Market Street through the City Hall plaza and back before stopping at the Bank of America building.
Prior to the Wednesday’s demonstration, the core group of Occupy SF movement has been camping out on Market Street for over a week.
City College student Allie List, 21, just joined the camp Tuesday night told San Francisco Chronicle, "I think people are really upset with how their tax dollars are being used."
She said, "They don't agree with the massive bailouts that have happened with these major financial firms. We're upset with how money is being spent."
On Wednesday night, local police asked the protesters to take down their camp, complaining that they have blocked the sidewalks though they have a right to demonstrate. Protestors finally agreed to take down their tents, but have not reached a consensus on either staying or leaving. Local police has made no arrests while some protesters remain on Market Street early Thursday.
The Occupy SF movement began on Sept. 17 with six people gathering outside the former Bank of America center on California Street in solidarity with protesters in New York who set up camp in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street that day.
On “Occupy Wall Street” national website, https://occupywallst.org, the protest declared: “We are the 99 percent. We are occupying Wall Street. We will not move.”
The group claimed to represent 99 percent of Americans who are not receiving the economic benefits that is granted to only one percent of nation.
“We are getting nothing, while the other 1 percent is getting everything,” said the website.