Tuesday, October 4, 2011

USA: Occupy DC shuts down Bank of America branch

Occupy DC shuts down Bank of America branch

On the 3ed of October, Occupy DC detached a team of six protesters to protest outside the 17th and I st branch of Bank of America. This small "raiding party" was enough that the bank pulled down their security grate and closed the lobby. On top of all else, someone inside the bank called in a false police report, claiming that someone was inside the bank yelling on a bullhorn. There was a bullhorn, but both it and all the protesters stayed outside for the duration of the protest. Only two cops responded, and they acted in a quite friendly manner to people protesting banking and Wall Street outrages.

Neither one, of course, was management like the white shirted senior officers in New York with their pepper spray and orange net. This sort of thing shows the power of even small-unit protest. On Saturday, the first of October, 100 people showed up at Occupy DC. Breaking that 100 into one unit of 4 to watch the camp, and 16 groups to six would have been enough to close down 16 branches of Bank of America on a busy Saturday morning. Since there are only 31 Bank of America branches in DC, that would have been enough to eliminate their downtown business presence for about an hour.

As I write this, the Bank of America home page is coming up "Home Page Temporarily Unavailable," although their more secure "online banking" page is still up. Why Bank of America? They bought Countrywide, the subprime-mortage scam operation which has been blamed as much as AIG or Lehman Brothers for touching off the Great Recession. Worse, BofA whistleblowers have testified at Occupy Wall Street that too many of Countrywide's business practices have endured at Bank of America.

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