Boston Activists Make Bank of America ATMs More Truthful

By scott parkin

What’s that old saying? “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

People are waking up to the fact that there’s a big difference between what banks like Bank of America are telling us and the truth.

In another action targeting Bank of America for its financing of the coal industry, this one timed to coincide with Occupy Wall Street’s “Occupy Bank of America” March 15 day of action, RAN activists transformed over 70 ATMs into Automated Truth Machines, this time in and around Boston.

Activists used special non-adhesive stickers designed to look like BoA’s ATM interface. Instead of checking and savings accounts, customers are offered transaction options like investing in coal plants, foreclosing on homeowners, or bankrolling climate change.

Elite BoA executives like CEO Brian Moynihan reside in and around the city, making Boston an arena ripe for protests and ethical debate for the 99%. Targeted actions against BoA are expected to escalate between now and the company’s anticipated Annual General Meeting, where activists plan to gather en masse in May in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bank of America funds coal from the cradle to the grave. In 2010-2011, the bank’s investment portfolio in the coal industry was worth over $4.3 billion. It is also the biggest forecloser of homes in the U.S. Meanwhile, BoA executives have received monstrous bonuses even while laying off tens of thousands of lower-wage employees and helping trigger the global economic crisis.

Bank of America’s brand is toxic. America’s social and environmental movements are not planning to let up anytime soon. In the past week, CODEPINK “busted” up CEO Brian Moynihan’s talk in New York, Occupy Wall Street took up residence in a BoA branch’s lobby, and RAN intercepted Moynihan in San Francisco.

All of this attention is richly deserved. As Matt Taibbi recently wrote, Bank of America, the “ultimate Too Big To Fail” bank, is also “Too Corrupt To Fail.”