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Anti-Bank Activism Grows With Series of Events in May

By: David Deyden, Fire Dog Lake


Next month, we will see a series of actions at bank shareholder meetings designed to hold the financial industry accountable for crashing the economy. The New Bottom Line coalition plans events at the shareholder meetings of three of the leading banks – Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Details on those events are here.

This will culminate in a large rally on May 12 on Wall Street in New York City. It coincides with the release of the New York City budget from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which will include major cutbacks in social programs:

The Big Banks crashed our economy, destroying jobs, foreclosing on millions of homes and wrecking cities and states budgets across the country. After trillions in taxpayer funded bailouts, Wall Street is making billions in profits and giving away record bonuses to CEOs. But our communities are still hurting. Here in New York City, tens of thousands have lost their homes and their jobs. Now, Billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg is proposing devastating budget cuts as the only solution to the economic crisis that Wall Street caused. Enough is Enough. On Thursday May 12, 2011 we’ll be bringing some of that spirit of Wisconsin to Wall Street when thousands of people, from all walks of life, converge in a unique and inspiring action in the heart of the financial world — Wall Street. Join us — because it’s time to make the Big Banks and Millionaires pay!

The event updates can be found at the Facebook event page.

The coalition pushing this forward has come out of the financial reform debate and the foreclosure fraud actions, and consist of clergy, unions and community activist groups. Their demands include ensuring that corporations pay their fair share of taxes, that the banks stabilize the housing market through loan modifications and principal reductions and that they increase lending to create American jobs rather than facilitating the shipping of them overseas.

One of the bank accountability groups, Showdown in America, posted the phone number and email address of a senior vice president at JPMorgan Chase and is encouraging a virtual rally during the shareholder meeting:

Can’t come? Mark your calendars. On May 17, while we’re at the shareholder’s meeting, join us in the action by calling JP Morgan Chase Senior VP, James Gilliam. Tell him to modify Virginia Holwell’s loan, and keep families in their homes: 312-325-5057.

Rather send him an email? Here you go:

Virginia Holwell is a homeowner who had her loan modification denied by JPMorgan Chase.

This series of actions reflects the intent of activists fed up with inaction and taking whatever stances are necessary to make themselves heard. State and federal regulators have failed. Politicians have failed. They’re heading into the streets.