Group 'forecloses' on Bank of America in Alamo Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Danville Weekly Online, on May 10, 2012 at 6:46 am
Members of the activist group MoveOn gathered in Alamo Plaza on Wednesday afternoon to protest actions taken by Bank of America and other institutions. Protesters identifying with the 99 percent "foreclosed" on the bank and demanded that it pay taxes or change its name.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 9, 2012, 4:01 PM
Posted by Ellsi Goldberg, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on May 10, 2012 at 10:48 am
Our actions mold public opinion which is the ultimate determining factor in a democracy.
99%ers work toward the tipping point
By staging actions across the country the 99% Movement inches toward a tipping point, the moment when a critical mass believes enough in social justice to take action. Every motorist that passed in front of B of A in Alamo and honked approval was nudged that much closer. Every reader of this story is nudged closer.
Since last October the 99%ers of the TriValley and Central Contra Costa have staged action in Dublin, San Ramon, Walnut Creek and Alamo. These actions coincide with national days of action focused on specific issues. In October the message was JOBS, jobs, JOBS, so we focused on $44B in oil subsidies from the taxpayers to the world’s most profitable oil companies that should be re-allocated to funding the then proposed JOBS ACT. That action was in front of Chevron World headquarters in San Ramon.
We sang carols at Stoneridge Mall with alternate lyrics. We brought over own villain dressed as Scrooge telling us to get jobs and calling us hippies.
Through the winter the focus was on the four major banks that are now foreclosing, evicting and making kids live in cars. We dressed as piggies with bank logos on our chests and pig facemasks. We flew a pig balloon named GOLDMAN SACHS. We asked the President to investigate Wall St crime, which he promised to do in the state of the union address (we are still waiting). Those actions were in front of banks on Crow Canyon Rd, in Walnut Creek and on Dublin Blvd.
Last month we were in front of the Walnut Creek post office thanking folks for paying their fair share, with cheer leaders and handing out candy. It was covered in the Sunday Chronicle with some good pictures.
Today we told B of A PAY TAXES OR CHANGE YOUR NAME. The bank closed for business until we left, actually when we went to lunch. A foreclosure notice was presented to the bank, actually it was mounted on a stick and put in the lawn in front of the bank but it was returned to its owner by the bank guard.
There two guitar players leading sing-a-longs and lots of signs with suggested new names for the bank:
Bank of OFF SHORE PROFITS Bank of FORECLOSURES
Bank of BAILOUTS Bank of TAX AVOIDANCE
Bank of FREELOADERS Bank of SUB-PRIME MORTGAGE SCAMS
Bank of ROBO-SIGNERS Bank of TAX HAVENS
Bank AGAINST AMNERICA Bank of USERY
Bank of GREED Bank of THE ONE PERCENT
Bank of TAX DODGERS
About the 99%ers
Most of us who have taken the actions mentioned above are not those severely hurt by the current economic situation. What motivates all of us is the need to do something about the injustices that will be visited upon current and future generations. Those who say the system is broken beyond repair are making an excuse for slacking off responsibilities. We believe we can change the system and make it work better for people.
We use creativity to make our message attractive to the media. We always have fun so our numbers grow and activists don’t get discouraged. We encourage each other, so can reach the tipping point.
Posted by Derek, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on May 10, 2012 at 11:24 am
I agree with Lorie....a bunch of anti-capitalistic brown shirts who would vote democratic even if Hitler had a D after his name. Stay in SF.....Friends of mine honked but flipped you guys the middle finger...guess you didnt see that. LOL!!!
Posted by Marrushi, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on May 10, 2012 at 11:39 am
We accomplished at least one thing with the protest: raising awareness. If we are getting conservative Alamoens to see us, read this article, and post on this chat board then our mission was an utmost success. I hear the trolls ringing their bells; remember that seeing the 'other' in oneself is truly knowing thyself. Your hatred makes us grow stronger.
Posted by Doodles, a resident of the San Ramon neighborhood, on May 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm
No defense of how a prominent bank helped take down our economy in a host of both illegal and unethical activity? No civil discourse? Just unadulterated hatred and namecalling? We are a better country than this! The protesters are your neighbors, many retired and concerned for our future, from--Dublin, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Danville, Moraga, Walnut Creek…. And yes, we are calling on Obama to up the ante on only 55 FBI agents investigating criminal activity by the banks when 1000 were involved in the lesser S&L crisis in the late 80s.
Posted by Kim, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on May 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm
Lorie and Derek:
Stay in SF??? FYI, the majority of the people protesting live in Danville, San Ramon or Walnut Creek. Many are retired, including my husband and me. Further, we are long-time residents of Danville.
Nazi tactics? What are you talking about? What were we doing that you found so offensive? Holding up signs and waving the US flag?
Also, my husband is a retired (20 year) Marine veteran. He served in Vietnam and was proud to be protesting yesterday. Prior to his military retirement, he was a Marine Recruiter during the height of the Vietnam War.
I suppose if the Tea Party were demonstrating that would be okay with you. BTW, they also hold up signs and wave flags. Do you consider their actions Nazi tactics?
Posted by Rose , a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on May 10, 2012 at 9:34 pm
We are all part of your community. We are either retired or have our own businesses. We want a better environment for all Americans not just a few. Although I love SF, I live next to Danville. And given you are living in the "Progressive" bay area, you might get with the program or move to Arizona or the south where people are more likely to share your viewpoint.
Posted by Sheryl, a resident of another community, on May 11, 2012 at 12:11 am
Wow, there sure seems to be a lot of mudslinging from people that don't know what they are talking about. I get a kick out of reading things that people assume of others, especially when they don't even know them. Sounds kind of like High School. Moron? Jobless? Go find a job? Nazi? I am a business. Owning a business usually means you are working. Taking time out of my life to try and make this world a better place for my grandchildren does not make me a Nazi, I don't think? I am not a Democrat, nor am I republican. I am a grandmother that cares about the future and think that it is wrong that a bank does not have to be held accountable for its hideous actions. They have forged names on important documents and illegally foreclosed on homes. This is illegal and summon has to have the ca- hones to say something about it instead of throwing stones at those who care and making ridiculous statements about our personal lives that they know nothing about. It was a very nice, well put together gathering that made a very valid point. Quit throwing rocks, get off you lazy rear end and join us! We are a very nice group of people that wouldn't judge you in anyway and are concerned for the future. Welcome.
Posted by mcfadden, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on May 11, 2012 at 7:49 am
Derek and Lorie are in dire need of a history lesson. The Nazis were the worst kind of capitalists -- they were fascists. As Mussolini said: “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”. Bank of America is a prime example of this type of Corporatism - where corporations control the media, where corporations own the politicians, where corporations don't pay taxes, where the system is rigged to benefit corporations rather than American citizens. The founding fathers understood the danger of banks and mega-corporations. Thomas Jefferson said: “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies”.
I am always saddened at the fear expressed by the likes Derek and Lorie when true democratic expression is demonstrated through the exercise of our rights to free speech and assembly. The MoveOn rally was a protest against the mega-banks, a protest against the greed represented by BofA, a protest against the threat that mega-corporations pose to our democracy. This was a protest against BofA's massive fraud, its callous foreclosures, its preying on the poor, its cheating on taxes, its conspiracies to rig contract bidding, its sales of toxic mortgages, and its corrupting influence on our politicians. BofA should be a pariah in our society. I don't understand why any thinking individual would want to defend the likes of BofA. “If the people only understood the rank injustice of our Money and Banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.” Andrew Jackson
Posted by cardinal, a resident of the Diablo neighborhood, on May 11, 2012 at 9:00 am
Perhaps they should've foreclosed on Chase, instead? Haven't the banks been down the "lost money on credit default swaps" road before? Didn't they end up in tar pits from which taxpayers dug-out their ungrateful posteriors?
When the casino loses money on a fixed game, the banksters cannot even congratulate each other that their obscene pay is merit-based.
Congress: meet Mr. Glass and Mr. Steagall. They have a few ideas that have worked well for many years...
Posted by Lydia cummings, a resident of the San Ramon neighborhood, on May 11, 2012 at 9:06 am
Oh did the big big bad banks and lending institutions do a naughty? Golly gee---they are so bad but our esteemed benefactor GEORGE SOROS is pure of heart as he finances moveon and other leftist rabble-- please follow him off a cliff.
Posted by Citizen Paine, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on May 11, 2012 at 9:56 am
Interesting to contrast both the tone and content of arguments made on this board.
To me, the 99ers above write like reasonable people who actually understand something of the issues, and just can't agree to abide current situation. I do not typically see name-calling, scorn or personal attacks based on no information.
OTOH, the defenders of banks in particular, and the status quo in general, tend to write angry, condescending, personally insulting and off-topic stuff. I would point-out LMP, Lorie, Derek, Ann, Lana, Rick and Lydia in that regard -- just in this this thread. Their stuff is nearly devoid of content -- it's just bile.
If you have reasoned arguments, why not state them, instead of "BUT.BUT. GEORGE SOROS OMG LOL!!!! It adds nothing to the conversation, and it demonstrates fear and ignorance. It that your intention LMP, Lorie, Derek, Ann, Lana, Rick and Lydia?
Posted by annie, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on May 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm
I am really wondering if it is a full 99% of the people that are wanting their fair share, under the guise of the public good? Feeling entitled to your fair share without "earning" it sounds a little greedy to me. BTW, I had no idea there were protestors wearing pig masks. I am not defending the banks but if the so called "1%" wind up supporting the "99 %", and they go broke doing so, then who will support those who are wanting their fair share (which becomes "100 %") If my taxes go any higher, i am better off joining the welfare group and demanding my fair share too. So in the interest of society, pass me a pig mask, will you?
Posted by Dan, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on May 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm
There is a lot about George Soros history and life that many people don't know , and he wants it that way. He is the king maker behind the king, and an evil person with a personal vendetta against the US. I am from Soros' old country and my family happened to be "in the know". Beware!
Posted by mcfadden, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on May 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm
"Teach" clearly doesn't know history. I am always amazed at the reactionary ignorance of those on the right. The Nazis were not socialists, they were fascists, corporatists and capitalists. The use of "National Socialist" was a form of double speak -- like East Germany calling itself the "German Democratic Republic" -- it was neither democratic nor a republic. Nazism promoted an economic system that supported a stratified economy with classes and private property, rejecting universal egalitarianism. They were not socialists. The Nazis were far-right, reactionary, authoritarian, racist, nationalists -- like some members of the tea party. In fact, the Nazis were supported and funded by American and British capitalists who feared Russian communism. These misguided capitalists thought they could keep that Nazi dog on a tight leash -- they were wrong. The Nazis used the tools of capitalism, raising capital by stealing from Jews and other minorities, and later from countries they invaded, in support of their military industrial complex. You can grow an economy quite rapidly when you steal capital from the workers and create a slave labor workforce -- which is the direction our current corporatist government is headed. I for one am saddened by brown-shirts who drive by in their beamers flipping off those courageous enough to exercise their constitutional rights to assemble and speak. I am amazed that anyone who reads the news, who understands the theft and fraud perpetrated by mega-banks and Wall Street, would try to defend the likes of BofA, which is clearly one of the worst. I commend those MoveOn protesters who took precious time out of their busy lives to educate those living in the bubble in Alamo -- to educate them about the threat that mega-banks pose to our democracy. "A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." James Madison
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on May 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm
Dear Annie: It's certainly a reasonable concern, in theory. The narrow tip of the inverted pyramid would surely topple-over, trying bear and balance the broad weight above it.
In fact, though, since the 1970s, most of the benefits of the American economy have flowed To the 1% end -- the middle class and poor have made no progress since then; indeed, they've lost ground. Robert Reich is the best commentator who writes about that phenomenon -- some guy in the Raucous Caucus on this board took his own humble stab at 'splainin' it last year: Web Link.
One of the biggest problems with that is that when middle class families don't have money to spend, they can't buy stuff that would create jobs and help the economy grow. That's why the recovery is so slow. So I'd say that the pyramid is very much on its base, with the 99ers supporting the Ones very well.
Now, the big bank shenanigans certainly fed that trend, but basically because the government stopped effectively regulating their practices. All of the above is quite true, but also very unpopular with the Ones, who have somehow convinced a bunch of folks who will never, ever benefit from these policies to carry their water. I'm guessing that it won't take long for someone to rush to their aid, for a crumb. We'll see.
Posted by mcfadden, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on May 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm
I'm curious what you mean by "your fair share without earning it". Are you suggesting that Wall Street gamblers who made bets with other people's money and were bailed out by the government "earned" those huge bonus that CEOs took home? Are you suggesting that the CEOs of too-big-to-fail mega-banks like BofA, who continue to perpetrate fraud and continue to be bailed out by the Federal Reserve, have "earned" those million dollar bonuses? Are you suggesting that the artificial wealth created by the bubble economy was "earned" by investors. Are you suggesting that those who sold houses at astronomical prices right before the housing bubble popped, and left the new owner holding the bag, "earned" that money? Are you suggesting that your investment earnings, which were protected by a government bailout, were "earned"? Are you suggesting that anyone who is paid tens or hundreds of millions of dollars for shifting money around in financial markets, who produces nothing of any real value in the real economy, deserves to be paid >100 times the salary of a fireman, or a teacher, or a doctor. Even the greatest inventors stand on the shoulders of others -- build on the knowledge that others have labored to create.
Your comment about "the 1% supporting the 99%" indicates that you a fan of that absurd, narcissistic, sociopath Ayn Rand. There are no Atlases carrying the burden of the 99%. Instead we have the 99% carrying the burden of the 1%. It's the 99% that produce the food, deliver the water to your tap, keep our power plants running, maintain all our infrastructure, police our streets, teach our children, defend our borders, repair our cars, create the art that makes living enjoyable, serve us in stores and restaurants, and make our clothing and electronics (albeit a Chinese 99% for those last ones). The 1% siphon off the wealth created through hard work by the 99%. It's the greedy few at the top who continue this mythology that a few create the wealth -- a mythology to ease their conscience -- to justify taking more than their fair share of the pie -- a pie the rest of us created. Annie, you sound like a Tea Bagger -- someone addicted to the drug of free-market fundamentalism -- greed and indifference to working Americans. I suggest you open your heart and mind -- read some books on history, economics, and politics -- and stop listening to that nonsense on Faux Noise.
Posted by Linda B, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on May 11, 2012 at 10:17 pm
Well said Jim! Thanks for your contribution to the conversation. I for one and all the people I know who were part of the 99% Spring action in Alamo on Tuesday have worked the majority of our lives and want to see everyone prosper. That is my goal and if others cannot see this then it is time they take off their blinders and look at the bigger picture. We are all in this together.
Posted by hippies are killing the world, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on May 15, 2012 at 7:58 am
People that call themselves 99%er have issues.... envy is a deadly sin. Hitler had his 1% list too..... If you stop envying others, then maybe you would have a chance to succeed on your own. Punishing others for what you envy, dream about, and have failed to achieve is simply your failure. If you want to know whose fault it is, find a mirror!
I want my your fair share without earning it.... just like YOU
Posted by mcfadden, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm
It's sort of funny how conservatives, like the above resident of Danville, project their greed and selfishness on others. The greedy 1% who have taken the biggest piece of the pie, assume everyone else is motivated by similar selfishness. Their own empty lives are devoid of the pleasure one gets from helping others, of trying to make the world a better place, or even the simple pleasure of reading and learning about the world. Instead they fill that emptiness with shopping, deriving their pleasure from acquiring more and more useless stuff. As they acquire more stuff, anxiety builds because they now worry that someone is trying to steal that stuff. So they build fences, gated communities, and hide in their big houses, guarding and accumulating more useless stuff. They have totally lost the sense of community, of sharing, of gaining pleasure by helping others. They fail to understand that we are social creatures who attain happiness through a life filled with friendships, learning, and generosity. Instead they hide from their neighbors, sneer at those who learn, and embrace consumerism. They have fully bought into the corporate propaganda, the hive-mind of consumerism, and fear anyone who speaks the truth about Corporate-America. They should heed the words of Wendell Berry: "... the corporate mind ...does not care who it is, for it is not anybody; it is a mind perfectly disembodied. It does not care where it is so long as its present location yields a greater advantage than any other. ...The corporate mind at work overthrows all the virtues of the personal mind ...knows no affection, no desire that is not greedy, no local or personal loyalty, no sympathy or reverence or gratitude, no temperance or thrift or self-restraint. ... justifies and encourages the personal mind in its worst faults and weaknesses, such as greed and servility, and frees it of any need to worry about long-term consequences."
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on May 17, 2012 at 10:56 am
McFadden is right.
The 1% haven't "earned" a right to an ever bigger share of the pie (at the expense of the other 99%). They simply have used their political power to skew the distribution of the wealth in their direction -- lower tax rates, tax loopholes, coporate cronyism, etc.
If we keep going down this road, we will end up with a feudalistic society, where only the very few at the top have all the political power and all the wealth. We are getting very close to this already. The top 1% already controls 40% of the wealth of the country. Once they control 80-90%, the game will be over. And we will look like those Latin American countries that we once derisively (but acurately) called "banana republics."