Bus shelters wrapped to look like foreclosed homes in Hyde Park, Boston.
Over 1,000 people are expected to take to the streets Friday for a march on Bank of America to rally against Wall Street greed, predatory lending, and skyrocketing foreclosures in urban communities. The march will be led by Boston residents who are facing foreclosure, and will culminate in a confrontational nonviolent sit-in by over 40 people at Bank of America’s Massachusetts headquarters.
“I’m sitting-in at Bank of America so that my neighbors, and me, can stay in our homes,” said Presley Obasohan, who is fighting foreclosure by Bank of America. Mr. Obasohan is underwater on his loan for his Dorchester home, where building values have sunk to half or less of mortgage loan debt. “So many people have been thrown out of their homes or lost their jobs needlessly because of mistakes made by Wall Street Banks. Yet it’s the banks who are now rewarded with billions in tax refunds.”
The rally will begin on Boston Common with comments by local and national leaders from the Right to the City Alliance and Boston community groups who called for Friday’s action. The march will step off at 3:30PM, making stops along the route to highlight the destructive, anti-jobs stance of several major corporations including Verizon, where 45,000 Verizon workers are fighting for a fair contract, and Hyatt, where the wrongfully fired “Hyatt 100” housekeepers have called a boycott on the Hyatt hotels. The march will continue to NSTAR, where members of the Green Justice Coalition will demand that NSTAR hire local residents for well-paying, weatherization jobs, and Fidelity investments, where the Boston Youth Jobs Coalition will highlight how Fidelity has repeatedly refused to hire urban youth in Boston, despite record highs of teen unemployment and repeated calls by the mayor to create jobs for our youth. The march will culminate at Bank of America’s Massachusetts Headquarters on Federal Street with a dramatic sit-in by foreclosed families and their allies, who are targeting Wall Street banks for their role in creating the economic recession, resulting in increased homelessness, joblessness, and struggle for working people in Boston.
Friday’s march comes on the heels of a cascade of actions targeting Bank of America, and specifically asking BofA Massachusetts President Robert Gallery to reduce the principal on inflated home mortgages. As of March 2011, Bank of America had more homes in foreclosure than any other bank in Boston, with two-thirds of these in “majority minority” neighborhoods. 61% of Bank of America’s subprime mortgages were concentrated in these same neighborhoods, revealing a pattern of pushing bad loans on People of Color and the poor.
In protest, community members cleaned up a Bank of America foreclosure in their neighborhood and brought the trash to President Gallery's home on posh Beacon Street in Boston.
Check out this great video of the action:
Friday’s march is one of a 10-city New Bottom Line campaign to hold Wall Street accountable to the American public and get big banks to Pay US Back.