With less than 24 hours before thousands of 99%ers will converge on the Bank of America shareholder meeting in Charlotte, those who couldn't be in Charlotte took action from coast to coast today to highlight Bank of America's abusive corporate record.
In New York, community, labor and clergy leaders in New York City converged on the Bank of America tower at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue. The action included 8 community, labor and clergy leaders holding a giant black banner that read, “Bank of America Bad for America” across 42nd Street, peacefully blocking traffic until they were arrested.
Protestors also held a large 6 foot Bank of America "person" with four 6 foot arms. Each arm represents one of Bank of America's crimes - foreclosure, dodging taxes, investing in payday loans/ dirty coal/ private prisons, and "buying" elections.
"For the past year, I've been trying to modify my mortgage with Bank of America so my family can stay in our home; but instead of working with me, they send me letters telling me I need to do a short-sale and leave my house,” said Guillermo Calle of New York Communities for Change. “ I have nowhere else to go, so I am out here today to let Bank of America know we aren't going anywhere. As long as Bank of America continues their foreclosure policy that is bad for America and our families, homeowners like me will be in the streets from New York to Charlotte."
In Detroit, the Michigan Organizing Project and members of Occupy Detroit staged a life-sized game of Monopoly in the Guardian Building Bank of America branch in downtown Detroit. As each protester took turns rolling the giant dice, they highlighted a different Bank of America crime.
Redford, MI homeowner and BofA mortgage holder, Thomas Nugent, said, "It was the taxpayers who bailed out the banks when the banks crashed the economy with their reckless financial games. Now, millions of Americans, just like me, are underwater on their mortgages. We need mortgage relief now! That's why I'm going to Charlotte, North Carolina as a shareholder, to demand mortgage relief for American families and homeowners."
Protesters with Occupy Los Angeles foreclosed on a Bank of America branch. The protesters took a stand with Dirma Rodriguez and her family, who is being illegally foreclosed on by Bank of America.
More coverage of today's Bank of America actions from Alternet is available here.
Stay tuned for all the action tomorrow from Charlotte on The New Bottom Line!