by Scott Morris
Bay City News
November 17th, 2011
Protesters who support New York's ongoing "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations are holding marches, rallies and other events throughout the Bay Area today as part of a national "day of action."
The national protest was organized to mark the two-month anniversary of the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street protests, when demonstrators began camping out in New York's financial district.
The movement quickly spread to cities throughout the nation and the world, including in the Bay Area.
In Walnut Creek, organizers planned to hold a rally at the corner of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Main Street at 11:30 a.m.
They said the rally would focus on how the ongoing foreclosure crisis in the U.S. has affected local residents, and that they would also be encouraging people to move their money from large banks into local credit unions.
Protesters in Santa Rosa planned to gather at 11:45 a.m. at Railroad Square at West Fourth Street and Wilson Street, and many will reconvene later tonight in support of "Occupy Santa Rosa," which is involved in an ongoing dispute with the city over public camping permits.
In Redwood City, a rally will be held at the corner of Middlefield Road and Broadway at 3:30 p.m.
Dubbed the "We are the 99 percent" protest, there will be a series of speakers to pressure government and economic leaders to focus on protecting the interests of the middle class. Members of the Raging Grannies, a satirical singing protest group, are expected to attend.
In San Francisco, after a march on Wednesday in which 95 protesters were arrested in a Bank of America branch downtown, "Occupy SF" is calling for a quieter teach-in at the camp in Justin Herman Plaza this afternoon.
At the teach-in, which begins at 4 p.m., protesters will discuss "wage theft," and low-wage and unemployed workers in the Bay Area will swap stories and discuss how to create an economy that better serves workers.
Protesters in San Rafael plan to gather at the Bank of America at 1000 Fourth St. at 4 p.m. as part of a "Super Committee Shout Out."
In Santa Cruz, protesters with "Occupy Santa Cruz" have called for supporters to gather at the Water Street Bridge between Ocean and River streets at 5 p.m.
"Occupy San Jose" will hold a march in solidarity with protests in New York City, beginning at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at San Jose State University at 5 p.m. and heading to City Hall.
The San Jose action has drawn statements of support from local branches of the American Federation of Teachers, the California Faculty Association and Communications Workers of America.
The most high-profile "Occupy" protest in the Bay Area, "Occupy Oakland," has only planned a candlelight vigil at Frank Ogawa Plaza at 7 p.m., but it has called for another national day of action on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a separate statewide strike is under way by California State University faculty today over teacher compensation and cuts to education.