Our HISTORY – Origin of the San Francisco 99% Coalition
The San Francisco 99% Coalition was organized in October 2011, shortly after a new group of antiwar and economic equality groups began working together. The various progressive groups coalesced to hold a successful solidarity action with the http://october2011.org/ event held one day before the 10th Anniversary of the Invasion of Afghanistan, on October 6, 2011 in Washington, D.C. and in San Francisco.
The groups represented Bay Area interfaith peace and justice, single payer and health equity concerns, labor, veterans for peace, women’s rights, economic equity, independent political parties, and nationally recognized antiwar interests.
At the October 6th protest in San Francisco held at the Federal Building, there were many speakers including members of the newly organized Occupy San Francisco. The Occupy Wall Street movement had sprung up spontaneously throughout the country and members of this coalition immediately identified with the focus of this young and vibrant movement. We decided to continue our work together specifically around four goals. We identified with the economic inequity proclamations of the Occupy Wall Street movement which deftly clarified the hitherto confusion of economics with a true portrayal of our country’s disparities in simple yet comprehensible ways.
Our fledgling coalition was impressed with this step forward in clarifying the need for change in our economic system and believes that continued educational events and activities are necessary to build public awareness and participation towards a more equitable and humane society.
In late 2011, the coalition worked closely with members of the Occupy San Francisco encampments, in demonstrations, and protest marches on Saturdays; specifically participating in the late October defense of the Justin Herman camp “no show raid” by the SFPD; we provided material aid in the form of “Portapottie” emergency funding from individual donors; medical supplies; food deliveries specifically at Thanksgiving and Christmas; transportation assistance; nonviolent training venues and resources; and contributed items like computer printers, warm clothing, and specific personal assistance when needed.
Coalition members joined in specific OSF groups such as OccupySF Action Council; and many joined the Occupy Oakland’s major port protests. All of this support was individually or collectively achieved through the enthusiastic participation of members of the coalition.
The coalition worked on educational and advocacy events such as the successful January 2012 “Spaghetti Dinner for the 99%” which featured speakers from Occupy colleagues describing the reason for our organizing our coalition (see Arthur Persyko’s statement plus event details http://sf99percent.org/ ). This project was organized by the Fundraising/Finance Committee to raise funds for group endeavors.
On February 15, 2012, the coalition’s NDAA committee organized a presentation, “Which Way Forward” to analyze and discuss different approaches to achieve a more humane economic system featuring speakers describing a variety of tactical ways to achieve our goals. This event was featured on the national C-SPAN television news program (see our website). In July, 2012, the coalition organized two forums on the need to change the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), in San Francisco and Oakland (see website). We joined local actions demanding bank reform, stopping home foreclosures, protecting Social Security and Medicare in national budget negotiations — in addition to many protests against the wars, environmental issues/fracking, CCSF educational and other local social services cut-backs, and sponsored civil disobedience trainings.
Who We Are: The SF 99% Coalition consists of activists from a variety of backgrounds who have come together in renewed efforts to search for ways to promote societal changes in accordance with our four goals. Through careful consideration and acclamation by a majority, we believe we can begin to accomplish our goals. Although we neither endorse nor denounce specific political candidates or parties, we endorse the four coalition goals as prime targets with which to go forward.
How We Operate: We normally meet once a week for lively discussions regarding agenda items of interest to members, as well as participate in various committees for specific activities. We use an email listserv for event announcements, committee organizing and action alerts. Members can send postings in accordance with our stated goals to listerv moderators or committee heads.
Current Objectives: We continue to work on community issues in accordance with our four goals. Please join us in our efforts to help create a more peaceful and equitable world. We welcome your ideas, suggestions and energy!
Reviewed and adopted 01/29/2013