Occupy movement turning to shareholder meetings

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Looking to build on the Occupy Wall Street movement, activists say they're turning to corporate shareholder meetings this spring to vent their anger over economic disparity in the United States and to promote an assortment of other causes.

A group called 99% Power -- a reference to those not among the top 1 percent of earners -- says it plans actions at 36 shareholder meetings, with the first big push coming at Tuesday's Wells Fargo & Co gathering in San Francisco.

The protests could give another jolt to the 2012 annual meeting season, which has already featured a shareholder vote of no confidence in Citigroup Inc's executive compensation plan.

Organizers say they expect hundreds of protesters to target a broad range of issues from foreclosures to financing of "dirty energy" to immigrant rights to corporate taxes. The group says it will try to stop the Wells Fargo meeting from being held and force the company to hold a public "stakeholders meeting" outside.

"This is Occupy beginning the next phase," said Rainforest Action Network Executive Director Rebecca Tarbotton, who is part of the effort. "We see people hungry to take action."

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Rick Rothacker
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

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