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After bank president's home picketed, San Marino cracks down

Picketers planning to target someone’s home in San Marino may soon find themselves protesting in front of someone else’s residence.

City officials on Wednesday passed an ordinance creating a 150-foot buffer zone between activists and residences they’re targeting, acting in the wake of an Oct. 5 protest on the front lawn of Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer Tim Sloan.

About 100 protesters from Refund California, a statewide coalition protesting banks for what they consider to be predatory business practices, chanted and waved signs on Sloan’s lawn on Woodstock Road for about 45 minutes. Authorities said the protesters left without any incidents or arrests.

But Police Chief John Schaefer told the Pasadena Sun the ordinance is needed because follow-up protests are likely and police were limited in their ability to remove participants.

“The purpose of the ordinance is not to reduce picketing, but to protect the people who are the victims of picketing,” Schaefer said. “We’re a prime target. We have a lot of people who fit the profile to be the victim of this type of crime.”

The law calls for a 150-foot buffer from a home and a 75-foot buffer from the curb adjacent to the home. The City Council approved the new law 4-1. Those who violate the law face arrest for a misdemeanor or infraction.

--Adolfo Flores,  Times Community News

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