Kerul Dyer, 415.866.0005
San Francisco—A thousand-plus people representing the diversity of the 99 percent will converge in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 9 to protest Bank of America policies that are bankrupting our economy and destroying our environment at the company’s annual shareholder meeting. Rainforest Action Network, the New Bottom Line, the Pushback Network and a growing number of other national organizations will coordinate with local grassroots efforts for the non-violent mass mobilization.
“People from all walks of life are planning to travel to Charlotte to protest Bank of America because they are fed up with the company putting profits before the health of our communities,” said Amanda Starbuck, director of RAN’s Energy and Finance campaign. “As the top financier of America’s dirty, outdated coal industry, which pollutes American communities every day, Bank of America has become emblematic of everything the 99% struggles to change.”
The momentum for activists to attend the BofA Shareholder Meeting has the support of 99% Spring, a project working to train tens of thousands across the country in non-violent direct action skills between April 9 and 15. During the workshops, people will be encouraged to become involved in campaigns like the one targeting Bank of America.
“In their single-minded pursuit of profit, Bank of America became one of the prime movers behind the housing crisis and the economic collapse of this country, ” said Tracy Van Slyke, co-director at The New Bottom Line. "But this May, people from all walks of life, representing the diversity of the 99%, are landing on Bank of America’s doorstep. Together, we will challenge and change corporate abuse of power to create economic opportunity and a democracy that works for all of us."
The first week of May, RAN will sponsor an east coast truth-telling tour featuring speakers from Appalachia whose health and community are directly threatened by mountaintop removal coal mining and people facing health hazards from coal-fired power plants financed by Bank of America. Once in Charlotte, the coal community tour will attend an alternative shareholder meeting May 8.
"Bank of America continues to profit from the plundering of the economy and the planet. The bank's greed has violated human rights and devastated poor and working class communities across the country," said Brigid Flaherty, executive director for Pushback Network. "We know that Bank of America won't change the rules, so we're coming to Charlotte in May to take our economy, our environment and our democracy back from these corporate criminals."
Pushback Network (PBN) began in 2005 as a dialogue among experienced, independent community-based groups. PBN’s founders were leaders of organizations that had built long-term, on-the-ground operations within the most challenging social environments in the country. They formed PBN to “push back” against what they considered to be shortsighted, tactical approaches to community organizing and electoral work.
The New Bottom Line is a new and growing movement fueled by a coalition of community organizations, congregations, and individuals working together to challenge established big bank interests on behalf of struggling and middle-class communities. Together, we are working to restructure Wall Street to help American families build wealth, close the country’s growing income gap and advance a vision for how our economy can better serve the many rather than the few. Coalition members include PICO National Network, National People’s Action (NPA), Alliance for a Just Society, and dozens of state and local organizations from around the country.
Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org