Approximately 75 demonstrators descended on the San Marino home of Wells Fargo President and CEO Tim Sloan on Sunday evening to protest the bank’s alleged involvement in financing the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
The protest was for the most part civil and conducted in a peaceful manner, lasting a little less than an hour, before San Marino Police officers asked them to “wrap it up.”
San Marino Police Chief John Incontro and Interim City Manager Cindy Collins were on site in front of Sloan’s home and in constant communication with the protesters, who were members of the Native American community and Occupy Homes – a part of the Occupy Movement – which appeared to have organized the event.
Protestors occasionally broke into chants of “lock him up” and carried a 70’ inflatable mock pipeline which ten protestors held in front of Sloan’s home. One came dressed as President Donald J. Trump and held a sign declaring his affection for Mr. Sloan.
Enforcing an ordinance crafted after two other Occupy events at Sloan’s home, police officers forbade protestors from advancing onto Sloan’s property. Wells Fargo’s Vice President of Security was in attendance and in contact with Sloan, Incontro, Collins and the other police officers at the site.
Several San Marino residents appeared at the protest in support of Sloan, the San Marino Tribune ‘Citizen of the Year’ for 2011 and a recipient of the Rotary Club of San Marino’s Honorary Paul Harris Award.
“I felt it went well,” Incontro told The Tribune. “In protests, you want to make sure you allow people to exercise their 1st Amendment rights. It is my job to allow that while balancing the protest with the safety of the community. The Constitution allows for peaceful assemblies. Regardless of opinion, my role is to support that.”
The protest had been planned for at least 48 hours and was announced at last Friday’s meeting of the San Marino City Council.
Through research, Incontro determined the group had no history of violence and told The Tribune “Allowing them the time was the appropriate thing to do.”
As darkness fell and the protest drew to a close, Incontro placed a call to San Marino Police Operations Chief Aaron Blondé to determine the extent of potential resources.
“I needed to make a determination of ‘What if we had a case where they went too long or resorted to violence? Did we have enough resources available? As the incident commander, you want to know how many resources you have, what kind, and how long it would take to get them.’”
All protestors left in a peaceful manner – many pausing to personally thank Incontro – and the area was cleared by 6:20 p.m.