Friday, November 4, 2011

2011-11-04 "Nurses join Occupy SF to march for tax" by Michael Cabanatuan from "San Francisco Chronicle"
SAN FRANCISCO -- About 200 nurses joined Occupy San Francisco protesters Thursday and marched from the Federal Reserve building up California Street to Wells Fargo Bank's main branch, promoting a tax on financial transactions.
The lunchtime march, organized by the California Nurses Association, was loud but orderly and free of violence, vandalism or even confrontation. San Francisco police escorted the march, which filled the westbound lane of California Street for about a block to the bank's front door.
A half-dozen police officers, wearing baseball caps but holding riot helmets, calmly guarded the front door as several speakers advocated the so-called Robin Hood tax and other financial and health insurance reforms. The nurses' union has advocated the tax since early in the year, well before the Occupy Wall Street movement began.
"We're very excited to be able to join with Occupy to take this to the next step," said Liz Jacobs, a registered nurse and spokeswoman for the California Nurses Association.
The San Francisco march was being held in conjunction with other pro-transaction tax rallies in Washington, Los Angeles and at the G-20 Summit in Cannes, France.
Jacobs said the nurses' union backs the tax as a fair and sensible way to fund government services, estimating it could raise as much as $350 billion a year.
"How do we get health care for all? How do we get education for all?" she asked. "We need revenue."
Wendy Bloom, a nurse for 24 years at Children's Hospital Oakland, agreed.
"The myth that we don't have the money to pay for things in the U.S. is ridiculous." she said.
But the protest, even with its relatively low-key approach, didn't seem to attract much attention in the Financial District. Two suit-clad men, heading to lunch, stopped to listen to a couple of speeches. One turned to the other, and said, "Yawn, this is boring," and continued to walk down the block.

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