Members and supporters of a radical labor union stampeded a San Marino at6:00 p.m. because he is an officer with a major banking institution.
Piggybacking on the anarchist Occupy LA and Occupy Wall Street model, approximately100 protesters were bused to a residence on Woodstock Rd., trampled the landscape andrepeatedly pounded on the front door. Nobody was home, as the residents hadbeen tipped off by the financial institution’s security department. One sourcetold The Tribune that several of the protesters have been identified as membersof Organize for America– President Barack Obama’s campaign organization – and the discredited ACORN.
San Marinopolice arrived approximately fifteen minutes after the protesters weredelivered by two buses to the residence on Woodstock Rd. and immediately called forback-up. San Marino Police and Fire Chief John Schaefer said officers weresummoned from South Pasadena,who arrived to help control the mob, many of whom were conducting interviewswith local news organizations.
Schaefer said that a call was received at the SMPD at 6:04 p.m. indicatingprotesters were in the front yard of the home. An officer arrived at 6:11.According to Schaefer, the officer identified a leader of the protest and toldthe leader, a male, to remove the buses from the area. When the leader told theprotesters that the buses had to be removed from the street, they boarded thebuses and left the area. The office cleared the area at 6:54 p.m. after thedisturbance had died down. Other actions taken by the officer during theforty-four minutes he was at the site are less clear.
Tim Sloan, the owner of the residence told The Tribune today that there waslittle damage to the yard and that “some windows were pounded on and somelights were broken,” but there was no further damage to the structure.
“We are OK,” Sloan said. “We had enough warning and the familywasn’t there. Nobody was hurt and we have to be more prepared for things likethis. It seems as though the rhetoric right now is against people who aresuccessful. Especially with banks. It’s like we are evil and we have done allthese bad things.”
“They were disgruntled Ohio State fans,” University of Michigan grad Sloan quipped.
Schaefer said he is “extremely disappointed that the protesters breachedthe property and conducted their protest in the front yard of the homeowner.This is unacceptable and despite the peaceful outcome and the restraintexercised by our police officers, I would have preferred a more proactiveapproach and in the future our officers will act to better protect property andif necessary arrest protesters who violate the law. The bad part is, thepublic’s confidence is shaken and people might be saying “are protestersgoing to be at my front door? Where are the cops? Why is someone not on thescene?”
Schaefer also said that although his department had received a cal from banksecurity personnel that protesters seemed to be congregating at the corner ofFair Oaks and Huntington Drive and “could be coming to San Marino,”police officials were hampered by a large power outage, a report of smokeemanating from a storm drain on Oak Grove Ave., and a domestic battery incidentthat had investigators searching for a possible perpetrator.
Many of the local protests have been bankrolled by the Service EmployeesInternational Union, who boast on the home page of their website; “SEIUhas issued a union-wide endorsement of support for Occupy Wall Street and its message aboutshrinking income inequality, investing in public education, and making the richpay their fair share in taxes. We’re excited to be able to contribute ourunion’s energy, resources and organizing strength to the resilientdemonstrations that began in downtown Manhattanmore than two weeks ago.”
Schaefer said the protesters might come back to San Marino.
“We are looking at this and there are pieces we would like to handledifferently,” he said. “There are pieces that are beyond our control,but they are NOT going to able to break the law and be on people’s property.”
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