Furious over cuts to education and linking the budget shortfalls in California to the recession caused by risky lending, the Oakland Educators Association staged a protest at the Wells Fargo bulding in downtown Oakland on May 12.
Seven teachers were arrested when they entered the lobby of Wells Fargo, located at the corner of 12th St and Broadway, and staged a sit-in, refusing to leave until escorted out in handcuffs by Oakland police.
When word reached the crowd on the sidewalk that the protest had moved inside the bank, the crowd gathered around the entrance, pounding on the glass of the front door, shouting and chanting and demanding to join their colleagues inside.
One by one police escorted the protesters inside out in handcuffs. They left through the front door, and the crowd cheered each of the sit-in participants as they were led outside, photographed and loaded into a van.
Wells Fargo closed for “an emergency” during the protest, and guards stood in front of the entrance preventing anyone from entering. Regardless, the crowd outside the bank’s front doors had effectively blocked admittance to the bank.
Once all the demonstrators in the bank were removed, the crowd returned to the sidewalk, and a small contingent broke off from the main group to march up Broadway to city hall, where the entered the front door, now chanting about proposed library closures under one of the potential budgets from Mayor Jean Quan.