This week The New Bottom Line launched Confront Corporate Power, a campaign in conjunction with a number of progressive, labor, student, and environmental groups to take back our democracy from the biggest and most powerful corporate interests in the country.
Below is a round-up of the action, so far. Make sure to follow #99power on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates on Confront Corporate Power.
Yesterday 200 people marched to Wells Fargo's corporate offices in Seattle to demand that the bank pay it's fair share in taxes. The rally shut down the front entrance of the corporate offices as security prevented the protesters from entering the building.
Check out the great action photos below.
Unlikely Alliance of Economic, Labor, Environmental and Student Groups Confront Corporate Power with 50+ Protests NationwideUnlikely Alliance of Economic, Labor, Environmental and Student Groups Confront Corporate Power with 50+ Protests Nationwide
Coalition Issues Demands to Bank of America, Sallie Mae, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo and Verizon; Plans to mobilize tens of thousands of people in lead up to shareholder season
An unlikely coalition of workers, retirees, families fighting foreclosure, students, immigrants, and environmentalists will engage in more than 50 protests and direct actions across the United States to make joint demands of what they’re calling the “worst of the worst” corporate offenders: Bank of America, Sallie Mae, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo and Verizon. The ‘Confront Corporate Power’ movement launches this week, in actions from Wednesday to Friday, and puts the corporations on notice that there will be massive protests at their shareholder meetings this spring.
The direct actions include: takeovers of bank buildings and meetings of corporate officials, civil disobedience, prayer vigils, and more.
The coalition brings together more than 75 groups, including National Peoples Action, The New Bottom Line, Rainforest Action Network, Jobs with Justice, Right to the City, and 350.org, collectively representing hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Calling itself the ‘Confront Corporate Power’ coalition, the groups aim to target top corporations responsible for home foreclosures, tax evasion, subprime and predatory lending, and the financing of environmental degradation.
“Starting now, we will expose, pressure, and challenge the worst of the worst – from Bank of America to Wal-Mart. Our demands are very clear. We are calling on top corporations to pay their fair share of taxes, create jobs and treat workers fairly, and get their money out of politics. We also demand Bank of America and other big banks provide principal reduction to underwater homeowners in order to end the foreclosure crisis, and stop financing dirty energy projects that are risking the health of our families and our climate,” said George Geohl, executive director of National Peoples Action, which is a founding member of The New Bottom Line.
The focus of the coalition will be on the upcoming shareholder season. As a call to action letter issued by the coalition this Monday stated: “By the time shareholder season is done, we’re going to: Train and mobilize tens of thousands of people; Put thousands of people face-to-face with corporate decision makers at shareholder meetings; and, make the imbalance of corporate power one of the top election issues.”
“It is time to address the country’s biggest problems, from home foreclosures to climate change, with big solutions. Building on the power of the Occupy movement, we are pointing squarely at the corporations most responsible for widening the gap between rich and poor, undermining our democracy, and destroying our environment,” said Rebecca Tarbotton, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network.
Sporting goggles, snorkels, flippers and life preservers, more than 150 demonstrators marched on the big banks today to call attention to the scourge of underwater mortgages. Foreclosure victims lead by City Life and New England’s Bank Tenant Associations were joined by allies from MASSUNITING and the Occupy movement in calling on financial institutions to take meaningful steps to address the mortgage crisis. Their primary demand of JP Morgan Chase, Fannie Mae, Bank of America and other big banks: reduce the principal owed on underwater homes.
See below for video and photos of the action.
Today's featured 1%er from Pulling Back the Curtain: The 1% Behind 2011 Big Bank Bonuses is William W. George, who serves on the board of directors' compensation committees for both Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil.
It is no secret that the largest corporations in the country, the Bank of Americas, the Wal-Marts, the Verizons, are undermining our democracy, poisoning our environment and widening the gap between rich and poor.
That's why today, The New Bottom Line joins with thousands of workers, retirees, families fighting foreclosure, the unemployed, students, immigrants and environmentalists to confront abusive corporate power head on.
Today's featured 1%er from Pulling Back the Curtain: The 1% Behind 2011 Big Bank Bonuses is Stephen Burke. Mr. Burke is the President and CEO at NBC Universal and a Vice-President at Comcast, two companies that are notorious for tax dodging.
Over the next few weeks, The New Bottom Line will feature different highlights (or lowlights) from Pulling Back the Curtain: Exposing the 1% Behind 2011 Big Bank Bonuses. Today, meet Erskine Bowles.
The New Bottom Line celebrates President Obama's announcement of full investigation into the role of Wall Street and big banks in financial collapseCalls on Attorneys General to not allow sweetheart settlement that would give banks broad release of claims
The President will give the State of the Union address tonight at 9pm ET. You can watch live video of the speech right here on The New Bottom Line. We'll also be live-tweeting the State of the Union on Twitter @nblcampaign.