Occupy protesters mark anniversary with marches
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Occupy Wall Street protesters marked the first anniversary of the movement with protests around the country Monday, including protests, rallies and marches in the Bay Area.
In San Francisco, protesters took to the streets of the Financial District, marching and chanting as police watched from a distance. At one point during the evening, protesters tore up symbolic debt notes and burned cash. The protests remained peaceful, although there was an increased police presence near the Bank of America building on California Street. There did not appear to be any of the vandalism or skirmishes with police that have marked past Occupy protests in the Bay Area. At one point, there were as many as 600 protesters.
A small group of protesters began much earlier, camping out near the intersection of California and Kearny Streets Sunday night. They planned to remain for 24 hours as a reminder the Occupy movement is alive and well.
In the East Bay, Rabbi Michael Lerner, flanked by members of the Occupy Bay Area Jewish contingent marked the Jewish New Year holiday Rosh Hashanah by demonstrating against the banks he says are responsible for creating loans that force borrowers from their homes. The protest in Berkeley was peaceful.
Rosh Hashanah, according to the Jewish faith, is a time to set intention for the New Year and that's what Penny Rosenwasser was doing Monday. The anniversary of Occupy Wall Street was the perfect opportunity to encourage others to move their money out of banks and back into the hands of the 99 percent.
"As a Jew, I really harken to our prophetic tradition, which is called Tikkun Olam, which is hte healing of the world, which to me means not foreclosing anyone's home in this country," Rosenwasser said.
In New York, police arrested more than 100 protesters who converged on the New York Stock Exchange and tried to block entrances to the building. Demonstrators planned to form a human wall around the exchange to protest what they say is an unfair economic system that benefits the rich and corporations at the expense of ordinary citizens.
By the end of the night, San Francisco demonstrators peacefully occupied Justin Herman Plaza -- the spot where their movement began. Since being banished from the plaza, organizers say they've been quietly working pressuring banks to work with people and relieve them of hefty mortgages they can't pay.
San Francisco police say there were no arrests or property damage. They said that they would allow the occupiers to hang out in the plaza, just as long as they don't set up any tents.
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