RICHMOND -- About a dozen protesters shut down a Wells Fargo Bank during the lunch hour Wednesday.

The protest was organized by Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), which also staged demonstrations at branches in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego.

The protests launched what ACCE calls a "campaign calling on Wells Fargo to enact a broad principal reduction program, reduce short sales and release data on borrowers helped by income and race."

Bank officials in Richmond temporarily closed the doors at the 4300 Macdonald Ave. branch as the protesters marched in a circle and chanted, "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out." Customers still used automated teller machines nearby.

Organizers said they targeted Wells Fargo branches because the bank is the largest mortgage servicer in California, and they want to push for steeper mortgage principal reduction to be a standard step in loan modifications to reduce foreclosures.

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Mariana Phipps said the bank has a "strong record of working with customers who may be having mortgage payment challenges" and has forgiven more than $6 billion in principal reduction.

Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726 or rrogers@bayareanewsgroup.com and follow Twitter.com/roberthrogers