Today, scores of leaders from The New Bottom Line joined hundreds of other 99%ers to protest Bank of America at the mega-bank's annual shareholder meeting. The action started with a boxing match between "Brian Moynihan" and Ms. 99% and ended with a hundred shareholders mic-checking Brian Moynihan as they left the shareholder meeting. See a timeline of all the action below!
UPDATE: Here's a video surreptitiously filmed inside the meeting itself:
At 8am this morning, Bank of America employees who were being ushered quickly through shareholder meeting security were treated to the scene of their CEO in a boxing match with Ms. 99, a champion for the rest of us. While "Mr. Moynihan" tried to distract Ms. 99 with foreclosures and mountain-top removal, Ms. 99 hung in there and finally KO'd the executive.
After Ms. 99 was awarded her championship belt, we were ready to march. Pictures of the boxing match below.
Three different marches started in locations close to the BofA headquarters, each march in solidarity with victims of three of the biggest crimes that Bank of America continues to commit: illegal foreclosures, worker abuse, and environmental degradation. The marches converged outside of the shareholder entrance to the Bank of America building, where activist shareholders were forced to wait in line while the 1% shareholders were escorted in through a side door.
With hundreds of people outside the building, chanting, singing, and sharing their stories of Bank of America abuse, it must have been nerve-wracking to be a Bank of America executive, especially for Brian Moynihan, the CEO and master of ceremonies of the shareholder meeting.
Once the 100 or so activist shareholders were inside the meeting, it was immediately clear that Brian Moynihan was very nervous. He stumbled through his opening remarks and didn't seem sure of himself in facing a room full of the very people whom his company abuses daily.
There were seven shareholder resolutions on the table for vote and every single one of the resolutions had been initiated by a 99%er. From embracing widespread principal reduction to stopping investment in payday lending. Unfortunately, each resolution was voted down by the 1% shareholders.
Once the voting was completed on the resolutions, Moynihan opened the floor to questions. To his credit, Moynihan took each question and though he didn't really give any answers, at least he heard us, which is more than CEO John Stumpf allowed at the Wells Fargo meeting last month.
When individal homeowners facing illegal foreclosures questioned Brian Moynihan on why the bank was trying to take their homes, Moynihan referred each of them to an assistant in the room who could help them with their claim after the meeting. This answer prompted one shareholder to ask whether every homeowner facing illegal foreclosure need to attend a shareholder meeting before they are given help. The questions and answers went on for an hour before the meeting ended.
As the shareholders left the meeting, the hundreds of protesters outside had marched down Bank of America stadium, the site of this year's Democratic National Convention. As the protest drew to a close, protesters were asked to take out their cell phones and call President Obama and ask him to stand with us in holding big banks accountable. Throughout the city of Charlotte, the cheers of the protesters reverberated: "We'll be back! We'll be back!"
Here's a timeline of the action: