UPDATED: Activists In Charlotte, NC Take Action To Tell Bank Of America: Not With Our Money

posted by Rainforest Action Network

Not With Our Money banner at BoA HQUpdate 11/18/11 10:00AM PST We’ve just posted a short video recap of the day’s events. Watch it below or on YouTube.

Update 11/15/11 01:59PM All eight activists are now out of jail, in good spirits, and proud of the message they sent to Bank of America today. You can send one too: Tell Bank of America executives “Not with our money!” right now.

Update 11/15/11 12:19PM As authorities attempt to evict Occupy protesters from public spaces across the country, those protesters are going to start showing up at Bank of America’s doorstep more and more. Bank of America is in the center of the Occupy Movement because of its reckless financial practices that put profit before people and planet. To wit: “Bank of America is foreclosing on our neighbors and it’s foreclosing on our climate. To be honest, I’m embarrassed that I’m still a customer.” So says Jamie Trowbridge, an Appalachian State University student who was one of the two climbers arrested at today’s protest. “Coal is dirty at every stage in its lifecycle. No longer will Bank of America fund coal with my money. When I get back to school, I’m going to cut up my BoA debit card, and help other students do the same.”

Read more: BREAKING NEWS: Eight Arrested During Protest at Bank of America Headquarters

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Update 11/15/11 11:52AM All four of the activists arrested for blockading the front door of BoA HQ have been released from jail. News crews on hand at jailhouse.

Update 11/15/11 11:35AM Some good photos and great coverage by Creative Loafing, Charlotte’s best alt weekly.

Update 11/15/11 11:26AM Lots more photos added to Flickr set, you can view them in the slideshow below.

Update 11/15/11 11:03AM #OccupyCharlotte protesters rallying outside of Bank of America HQ read out messages sent to BoA 1%ers via OccupytheBoardRoom.org!

Update 11/15/11 10:23AM Just a reminder that you don’t need to be in Charlotte at BoA HQ to send a message to BoA execs. Tell Bank of America executives “Not with our money!” right now.

Update 11/15/11 10:00AM Taking a cue from the protesters who were willing to put it all on the line and were forcibly evicted from Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Oakland, and Occupy Portland, two teams of courageous Charlotteans locked down entrances to BoA’s headquarters today in an attempt to bring business as usual to a halt. Seems they don’t want BoA funding the companies that are poisoning their communities with dirty coal any longer. Eight have been arrested.

Update 11/15/11 09:23AM Our action team has been arrested, but a contingent from Occupy Charlotte has marched down to BoA HQ to keep the protest going. Several activists arrested trying to blockade the entrances. Avram from Canary Coalition is addressing the crowd, speaking about fighting coal plant pollution in North Carolina.

Update 11/15/11 09:08AM Confirmed four arrested: both climbers and two support personnel.

Update 11/15/11 08:36AM Climbers are down and have been arrested.

Update 11/15/11 08:03AM Overheard Bank of America employee watching the climbers hang the banner: “They want Robin Hood to come back and get their money for them.” At least he admits that banks like BoA have stolen our money, and someone needs to get it back for us.

Update 11/15/11 07:56AM Fire Dept. just arrived with a cherry picker.

Update 11/15/11 07:52AM Passerby discussing our banner: “I mean I can understand that they are upset, but why don’t they just go to a local bank, that’s what I did.” Couldn’t agree more! MoveYourMoneyProject.org.

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Original post: Two climbers have just hung a banner reading “Not with our money” outside Bank of America’s corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Why Bank of America? Because we live in a time when the twin opportunities of job creation and the transition to a green economy are not only within reach, but desperately needed. Yet Bank of America, more than any other bank, continues to prop up coal, a dirty, 19th-century energy source.

But not with our money. Not any more.

You can get in on the action too: Tell Bank of America executives “Not with our money!” right now.

We’ve just issued a new campaign briefing — “Bank of America: Risking Public Health and the Climate” — showing that, despite claims that it considers the impacts of its investments on the environment and the climate, Bank of America is the largest underwriter of the U.S. coal industry, contributing $4.3 billion to the coal sector over the past two years.

That’s why we’ve dubbed Bank of America the Bank of Coal. BoA invests in every dirty aspect of the coal industry, including loans to Arch Coal and Peabody Energy, two of the biggest coal mining companies in the Powder River Basin that are trying to turn the pristine Pacific Northwest coastline into a major hub for exporting coal around the world. BoA is also invested in companies like Edison International, which owns the old, dirty Fisk and Crawford Plants in urban Chicago. Pollution from coal plants like Fisk and Crawford cause health problems that kill 24,000 Americans every year.

Bank of America puts profits ahead of people and the planet. The bank is investing in dirty coal companies that are polluting our communities and cooking our climate while also foreclosing on Americans’ homes and laying off thousands of workers. The same short-sighted thinking that led to our global economic crisis is being applied to BoA’s investments that impact the environment.

Write to BoA now to say “Not with our money.”

We’ll be updating this blog post with photos, video, and developments in this ongoing action throughout the day.