On Friday October 30th, twenty-five activists from Rainforest Action Network Chicago participated in actions at regional offices of JP Morgan Chase and the EPA.
At 11:30 AM in typical Chicago rain, activists dressed as the ghosts of mountains past “haunted” the Midwest Regional Offices of JPMorgan Chase. They handed out flyers and spoke to employees and customers about Chase’s role in Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining. Activists twice attempted to deliver a letter from RAN to the branch manager in Chase Tower. On both occasions Chase employees were receptive to the activists requests, but an unidentified manager interfered and called security. On the second attempt a personal banker took the letter offering to personally deliver it and refused to turn it over to
security. Chase Tower in Chicago houses JPMorgan’s second largest
offices in America.
After haunting Chase for three hours in an off and on downpour and handing out hundreds of flyers, Activists headed down the block to the EPA. Though they were denied entrance to the Federal Building due to their costumes, two representatives from the EPA (Phillippa Cannon and Anne Rowan) came out and spoke with them for about ten minutes. RAN Volunteer Jeff Lucas displayed a sample of toxic coal slurry from the
2.8 billion gallon sludge impoundment perched precariously above Marsh Fork Elementary School. Phillippa and Anne said they sympathized with the pleas for the EPA to intervene in non-permitted blasting on Coal River Mountain and promised to pass RAN’s letter on to the Regional Director and set up a meeting to discuss further action.
The day marked an extremely successful kickoff for RAN Chicago’s part in the global finance campaign. With JPMorgan Chase boasting more branches and ATM locations than any other bank in the Chicagoland area, they can expect to hear a lot more noise in the Windy City.