A group of about 20 people marched peacefully outside a Wells Fargo branch at Mission and 22nd streets on Saturday morning to demand that the bank stop foreclosures.

A police officer blocks the bank

Occupy Bernal and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment have held rallies on a weekly basis since December in an attempt to stop individual foreclosures and to pressure the banks to change their foreclosure policies, according to representatives.

The group chanted slogans such as “Take your money out of Wells Fargo” and “Banks got bailouts, we didn’t.”

Mesha Irizarry, who is with the alliance, said she too is losing her home in the Bayview.

“A lot of people blame us for going into foreclosure,” Irizarry said. “When you are given a predatory loan, you don’t know what is going on. A $70,000 loan suddenly becomes $250,000 with interest.”

Originally the group planned to protest in front of the home of Alfredo Pedroza, the director of California local government relations for Wells Fargo, but postponed that protest after bank representatives agreed to a meeting, according to group members.

Pedroza, who previously served as Mayor Gavin Newsom’s liaison to District 9 and the Latino community, could not immediately be reached for a comment.

Will Doherty, also known as Stardust, said the group is thankful for the work Pedroza has done for District 9, but they want him to do more for the community in his current position.

“We want Alfredo Pedroza to stop the banks from foreclosing on his neighbors,” he said.

The groups’ short-term goals are to stop the individual foreclosures and home auctions of members. So far they’ve had some success.

More broadly, the groups want the banks to stop foreclosures until January, when the California Homeowner Bill of Rights is expected to go into effect. Votes by the Senate and Assembly are expected next week.

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Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

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  1. You don’t take the entire equity out of your home unless you have the funds to repay the loan – Duh!!
    What work has Mr Pedroza done for District 9? Can’t really see any improvements other than along Valencia St & Bernal Heights; the Mission is still pretty much run down & blighted.

    1. He has helped many of the non-profits in the district by advocating and doing fundraising for them, has worked with small business’s and led the creation of Mini Park on 24th Street and other parks in the district to mention a few. Its not just about beautification, but helping the community which he has and continues to do.

  2. “When you’re given a predatory loan, you don’t know what’s going on.” huh. Really?

    1. When I sign for a loan the terms are very clear. It is sad that people got in over their heads but you can’t stay in a home that you are not paying for or else everyone would do the same.

  3. Bring it, Occupy Bernal. And you’ll learn what happens when you go after one of the Mission’s own. why not go after a true decision-maker or executive within Wells.

    1. That’s right!!!! What’s the point of harassing someone, and his family, who has worked with the community. You can’t expect Alfredo to actually stop the foreclosures. I can’t imagine he has that kind of power. Why don’t you target the executives. Maybe you should try working with Alfredo to figure out how to continue helping the community deal with the foreclosures and not be counterproductive and use acre tactics. I’m curious to know how many of these protesters that are targeting Alfredo are native to the Mission?

      1. Alfredo Pedroza has agreed to meet with us. He is a public relations axecutice with Wells Fargo.The strategy worked.