video footage, thanks to Bill Carpenter, City College, SF
Quick Time, # 1 , # 2 (large downloads, click "back" to return to this page.
Another video #3

San Francisco - About 200 people from around the Bay Area marched through San Francisco's Financial District on Tuesday, January 18, demanding that the government back off on its plans to (1) impose huge Social Security benefit cuts on future retirees, (2) divert trillions of dollars from Social Security into individual Wall Street accounts, and (3) not re-pay trillions of dollars of loans from the Social Security Trust Fund, using the money instead to replace money lost through tax cuts to the rich and war.

Read about the plans of business and government to restructure and privatize Social Security.

"No Privatization!"
"No Gifts to Wall Street!"

"No benefit cuts!
"We won't sell out our kids!"

"Hands off Social Security!"
"Its' ours, not Wall Street's!"

"Stop the Lies!"
"Social Security is NOT broken!"

These and many other angry chants echoed off high buildings. A young man on a skateboard said he had not heard "about" the march, he heard the march itself … from several blocks away! Marchers stretched a couple of blocks as they moved from location to location chanting loudly.

The action began near the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. Decades of massive layoffs, wage reductions, speedup, canceling pensions and health plans, safety violations, and evisceration of public services by legalized tax evasion are not enough. Now they want to take the money we put into the Social Security Trust Fund for our future, and use to solve the very problems they created: a huge budget deficits because of war and refusal to pay taxes, a huge trade deficit because they moved manufacturing abroad to pay low wages, and a falling dollar because foreign investors are loosing confidence that the US can continue to expand and are less willing to bankroll the US. Speakers showed it was the biggest transfer of wealth from poor to rich in US history.

Mary Magill, Central Con'tra Costa Gray Panthers

Marian Branch, SF Older Women's League

Our second stop was the SF Chamber of Commerce. The US Chamber of Commerce is a major contributor to a corporate war chest to spread the lies that Social Security is bankrupt, and young workers must abandon Social Security and make their fortunes in the stock market. We demanded corporations and government stop its campaign of lies and intimidation to try to stampede us into abandoning Social Security, which has kept millions of seniors, disabled, and children of dead workers from poverty.

Our last stop was in front of the offices of Diane Feinstein, who was not able to greet us, since she was in Washington urging confirmation of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State. Though she says she is against privatization, no one trusts her because of her belief in means-testing, which would convert Social Security into an underfunded poverty program, and her support of the Medicare Prescription Privatization law, whose gifts to drug companies are far more expensive than keeping retirees and disabled out of poverty.
The HANDS OFF SOCIAL SECURITY! action was planned by members of five Bay Area Gray Panther chapters, Senior Action Network, Health Care for All, California Alliance for Retired Americans, SF Older Women’s League, ANSWER, and the Million Worker March, and was endorsed by San Francisco Labor Council.

Ross Mirkarimi, SF Supervisor

Bruce Livingston, Senior Action Network

Margot Smith, Berkeley Gray Panthers

Howard Vicini, San Francisco Gray Panthers

East Bay Raging Grannies

Richard Becker, International ANSWER

Steve Zeltzer, Labor Video Project

Thank you, Bill Carpenter, IndyBayMedia

Using Real Player software, or possibly WinAmp, you can listen to tonight's KPFA news coverage of

  • The Social Security fight in Washington (34 min:49 sec to 40min:00sec), and
  • Our demonstration in San Francisco (40min:0sec to 46min:0sec)