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Occupy San Diego says ‘Shut them down!’

Members of Occupy San Diego take to the corners of downtown San Diego, March 13-16, urging citizens to move their money to local credit unions as well as bring awareness to the ongoing home foreclosure crisis.

SAN DIEGO (March 15, 2012) – Protestors with Occupy San Diego took to the streets of San Diego, beginning March 13, culminating March 15, supporting calls by Occupy Our Homes (http://www.occupyourhomes.org/) for a week of nation-wide actions against the largest of American banks.

The events began on Tuesday with the activist taking their message of moving one’s money to a credit union at the downtown 100 Broadway Street offices of Chase Bank. Included in the day’s activities was a mock birthday party for JP Morgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon. On Wednesday, the Occupiers took the corners around US Bank at 600 Broadway Street, Thursday saw them at the intersections 4th Avenue and B Street in front of Bank of America and Friday, the week of protests concludes with actions outside the Wells Fargo office located at 401 B Street in downtown San Diego.

In executing the events, occupiers followed a model laid out by members of Occupy Your Corners. Occupier Anoki spearheads the OYC group and explained why the OYC model was conducive for these particular protests.

“Instead of taking to the streets to protest, we take the corners,” Anoki said. “This way we serve as an information kiosk. It’s much less confrontational and allows the seeing eye of the public to come to us.”

Along those lines, protestors handed out flyers with information containing the dollar amount each bank took in federal bailouts and some of the more egregious claims in recent home foreclosure actions (view flyer). Protestors also spoke with San Diego residents about the need to move one’s money to local credit unions, a move the organization said is one of the few consequential, direct actions available to individuals.

“We know there are options out there for individuals and their money,” said Anoki. “Their money is liquid and can be moved to a better container.”

According to Bankrate.com (http://www.bankrate.com/financing/banking/bank-transfer-day-a-success/#ixzz1pIBGtbem) at the first such national protest in November 2011, credit unions saw nearly 40,000 new accounts opened resulting in $80 million in new savings account funds and $90 million in new loans. Those estimates were based on a survey of 1,100 credit unions nation wide. The full effect of these actions might never be completely realized as the same article notes many of the larger banks refuse to comment on the matter.

“Events like this send a message, loud and clear, to the banks,” Anoki said. “You may horde our money, you may steal our money but we make it and we make it flow. You can take over our homes, but we’re going to let everyone know you did.”

In a preemptive move against the protestors, officers of the San Diego Police Department used yellow-crime scene tape to block off the lobby area. Beyond spreading the message of moving your money, Anoki added events such as these were important to keep people’s attention.

“Actions like this go to show we’re (Occupy San Diego) still here,” he said. “Attention spans are so short, we combat it with repetition, repetition creates comfort and trust, or at least familiarity – it lets people know our interests are their interests.”

Occupy San Diego is a progressive group of diverse individuals committed to social change. You can read more about their mission at their website http://www.sandiegooccupy.org/. View the calendar for upcoming events and time and location for Occupy San Diego’s General Assembly.

Benjamin Cossel

An award winning journalist, Benjamin currently serves as public affairs representative for a large department of the state of California. His travels have taken him across his home country and around the globe trying to see what he can see.

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