You are invited to join the Alliance For Global Justice in Tucson for the Tear Down The Walls National Gathering to strategize and network together to build a more unified movement for transformational change in the US. Check out the video:
The Tear Down the Walls National Gathering is hoping that 50-100 people will make the journey from Cascadia at the beginning of the rainy season to sunny and warm Tucson, November 1-3. We’re setting up a travel fund for those who can’t afford it to make it accessible to those with the heart and the time.
There are so many Walls to Tear Down…
Walls made by War, Imperialism, Oppression, Homophobia, Racism, Militarized Border Walls, Wall Street, Walls to Citizenship, Housing, Education, Walls to Economic Equality and the Walls between us, which weaken our collective movement.
Please join us, November 1st- 3rd in Tucson Arizona to Tear Down the Walls! Learn more, and please share this with your friends and colleagues.
Help us get the word out!
Follow Tear Down the Walls on Social Media, and have your organization share our posts, to help build awareness about Tear Down the Walls National Gathering!
Unsure? How about checking out this video that shows a small sliver of the epic community gathering of over 20,000 people in Tucson that finishes off the conference on Sunday evening November 3rd.
People’s Power Assemblies
The purpose of the Tear Down the Walls National Gathering is to create spaces for cross-movement strategies and networking. We want this to be an action oriented conference that will create substantial progress toward building a stronger, more unified movement for transformational change in the US.
To that end we are incorporating six 2 and a 1/2 hour People’s Power Assemblies throughout the weekend which are designed to produce cross-movement strategies and at least one [inter]nationally coordinated day of local action that all the groups involved agree to build together.
Topics for People’s Power Assemblies
US Imperialism and Anti-Militarism
Drug War and Drug War Prisoners
Immigration and Border Militarization
Ecology and Empire
Anti-Repression and Prison-Industrial Complex
*We recognize that there is substantial overlap even among these six issues. Capitalism with its need to create mechanisms for criminalization and social control is an even deeper root than these six cross-movement issues.
Organize: After registering on the website, contact Bruce and let him know how you plan on traveling.
A call to activists who are interested in helping us to organize Tear Down the Walls! If you would like to help organize, please email Daniele@afgj.org for more information.
Seeking Travel Coordinators!
We are still seeking local travel coordinators for many cities around the United States. Being a travel coordinator (for groups of at least 10) entitles you to free registration and meals. Please contact Chuck@afgj.org for more information.
Please share this message with your organization and colleagues.
Yesterday was a success! Thousands of people participated in the picket of Bank of America and 100 times that heard our message. Tonight at 5pm PST, 8pm EST, there is a conference call to report back on how your picket went and congratulations. You are free to join if you were a participant in the picket! Register at http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/Q7EBJ7VCQFI1WV41
On May 8th Bank of America is holding it’s annual shareholders meeting in Charlotte North Carolina. Last year a thousand of those affected by this behemoth bank’s poor decisions gathered outside in protest. This year it’s spreading nationwide, with a call for a general picket of branches and ATMs. This is a picket for the silent shareholders of Bank of America, the American public, determined in breaking them up.
“Too big to fail” is the problem that unleashed the “moral hazard” that caused the Great Recession in 2008. Alan Greenspan said, “If they’re too big to fail, they’re too big,” but what are the effects for the 99%?
In 2008, that meant that, in one week, actions were set in motion that put millions of the 99% out of work. Deliberate deceitfulness caused millions of homeowners to lose their homes or lose value in their homes. The elderly, trusting their retirement funds were safe, lost their nest eggs. Meanwhile, Bank of America grew even more ominously large and the 1% gained.
The decisions of this bank affects us all and their hazardous risks will no longer be tolerated by an American public demanding recognition as the true shareholders.
The government has turned a deaf ear to the demands of the 99%. Negotiating with Bank of America economic terrorists is a morally bankrupt position. What’s left is to unify our democratic voices towards the government, while tearing down the walls of Bank of America’s privileged position. With persistence and great effort by a broad coalition implementing various tactics, there will be no alternative but breaking up Bank of America or nationalizing it.
Breaking up one of the largest banks that the world has ever seen is no small task. It requires the resolution of a broad cross-section of the public and is a challenge that everyone can participate in regardless of being a customer or an employee. Past efforts have focused on encouraging people to move their money to a credit union or local bank. This picket acknowledges that staying with Bank of America is the practical choice for many customers with mortgages, loans, lines of credit and other hard to replace service needs. Customers will benefit from the picket and the breaking up of this dangerous bank without having to move their money.
This picket is discerning the long high road, gently guiding customers along that path as well. While the goal remains to shut down Bank of America, the requirements for achieving that vision is a democratic process supported by the determined majority. Fortunately, polls show the majority already agree that “too big to fail” banks should be broken up.
Pickets have a long history as a tactic for engaging free speech in democracies. This national day honors that proud effective history without discouraging other kinds of actions. The picket can be done alone, in the iconic symbol of the moral antagonist with their sign, or it can be done together with friends. It can be energetic or solemn, with indignation or soulfulness, whatever way turns belief into action.
Acting alone by making a “Break Up Bank of America” sign and picketing the nearest Bank of America branch or ATM is the most courageous act. Snap a photo while there and share it with your friends. Remember, across the country hundreds of people will be doing the same thing while thousands will be acting in groups.
Expect more national pickets to follow soon and work locally to organize regular pickets. Determine what practices work best and remember to regularly connect with others doing similar pickets to share encouragement and stories. Tear down the walls of Wall Street and together create the future where no bank is too big to fail, and no person is to small to succeed.
We will be having a series of national conference calls to coordinate the #M08 Bank of America picket. Please join us on these calls. We will be talking about national coordination, sharing important information and resources and identifying areas that local actions need assistance with. The next call will be Thursday (5/2) to talk about what people need at 6:00 PM PST/9:00 PM EST. Register for the call on this link: MakeBoAPay!
Actions throughout the country and the Occupy Wall Street Movement
More coming soon! Get your group to join, your organization to endorse or otherwise participate in this call to action. Any organization or affinity group interested in this action should join this call. Once you know you will be participating please with info about your city or organization so that we can add the details to the website and help people plug in locally!
Thoughts on F29 & bank protests versus long term picketing strategies.
Occupy, we’ve got a bank protest at 4PM at Bank of America May 8th. I would like to talk about image. When we are at the bank we are presenting an option to the people about to do business there and that person has a choice. Does that person feel a stronger kinship to the protesters outside or the paid bank representatives inside? The paid representatives will all be smiling and pleasant and groomed because they are required to be it’s their job.
What will we look like? We will look like a diverse crosscut of this country. We each can put forward an image and energy of welcoming in our own special spirit.
What about our attitudes? Are we angry? Yes! Angry at the bank owners! How about the bank tellers? No. I don’t know the tellers why would I be angry at them? What about the customers? Certainly not! I want them to like us and join us in running the Wall Street bank out of town!
Having their customers like us is the key to our strategy’s success. We will not convince B of A to leave just because we don’t like them. We won’t win if we act aggressively towards the building, they will gain sympathy and we will lose. We win by convincing customers to move their money and to convince businesses to move their money. Once enough people have moved their money then maybe we can act to directly shut them down because we weakened our adversary and strengthened our movement.
I will be there and will be wanting to explain through a sign to cars passing by that B of A is bad. Another tactic is to explain to cars that credit unions are really really good! But my focus is on the customers walking up to the banks. In this I want to smile and have some idea of what I am going to say.
Maybe something like “Hi, my name is Bruce and I am with Occupy Olympia. Do you know about local credit unions? B of A made billions off the bank bailouts, supports mountain top removal coal mining, profits off the wars and charges high fees. Here is some information on that. Would you be willing to be our champion today and pledge to changing over to a credit union or local bank today?” If they say “no” we should still leave on a good note because maybe later they will change their mind plus we don’t know why they are with the Wall Street bank and sometimes it is hard to leave.
If the person says “yes,” then maybe we should give them a 99% button and ask if we can get a photo with them holding a special sign that says something like “Today I choose responsibility, leaving B of A and transferring to a local bank or credit union. We are the 99%.” Then we get their contact information and invite them to participate in a future picket and e-mail them their photo.
This is the nuts and bolts long term way to win a campaign. Do we have what it takes to be strategic with long term vision? I want B of A gone for good, I don’t want to have periodic protests for years. I think we can do this if we follow a loose plan and organize towards mile markers. How many bank customers can you convince to join a credit union? Maybe we can have a contest about it.
Sometimes I want to be confrontational, show up with my bandanna on in my battle clothes, I’ve done it plenty. Sometimes that kind of thing is out of place though, like being dressed up like a Klingon weeks after the Star Trek convention left town, I could do it and folks would all know I am really into Star Trek but other people might not like me approaching them dressed up like that. They might even call the police on account of the strange behavior.
I’m really against controlling the message, everyone has a voice. However conversations work better when only one person is speaking at a time. I also think that we should be aware of what vibes we are projecting and how that might make other people feel, people we want as our allies. In our meetings we sometimes have vibes watcher who can quickly tune in when a person’s vibes are causing the tuning out of other folks. I want to honor those that come to me and check my attitude while we are protesting. It is not about me it is about community building.
Bank of America is bad for America! Since the 2008 Great Recession was orchestrated by the ‘too big to fail’ Wall Street banks, citizens have stepped forward as the true leaders who reject the too big to fail premise. Too big to fail is too big to exist. (Facebook events)
Last year thousands came to Charlotte, NC, to voice their anger at the 1% Bank of America shareholders meeting. The shareholders and CEO Moynihan don’t respect the people. It is now clear that there is no chance for reforming Bank of America, it must be broken up. During this year’s shareholders meeting we are taking the protest nationwide.
A new Rasmussen survey shows that 50% of U.S. Adults favor a plan to break up the 12 megabanks, which currently control about 69% of the banking industry. Twenty-three percent (23%) oppose breaking up the largest banks, while another 27% are undecided.
Bank of America, with trillions in assets, won’t break by a few isolated protests. It won’t break by individuals moving their money to credit unions. It will break up by sustained collective will that infects the government, enlivens credit unions, revitalizes labor unions, enlists students and restores homeowners. Millions of pinpricks and a sustained demand: Breakup Bank of America.
The Achilles Heel that breaks up Bank of America is a sustained persistent stubborn picket at many of their 16,000+ ATMs and 5,600+ branches around the country. A picket can be as simple as 1 person with a sign in front of a BoA during business hours for an hour a week. People who picket can also put on educational events, flashmobs, marches, rallies, sit-ins, teach-ins, institutional divestment campaigns, government divestment campaigns, citizen lobbying, LTE’s, gorilla marketing, but a picket isn’t a one time event but a sustained effort that realizes that change may take a while and a stubborn persistent presence is absolutely needed.
On May 8th, the day of Bank of America’s 1% shareholders meeting, nationwide picketing will occur during open business hours at the Bank of America locations nearest by. Be there, dressed in a way that welcomes strangers’ conversations, carrying a sign that wins their support. Inform your neighbors, your coworkers, your friends, and ask them to join and support the picket.
In some cities, people will organize marches, some may do creative direct action and some might consider civil disobedience. Organized actions are enthusiastically encouraged but the common picketer, with the sign holding a simple truth, are the everyday heroes that will provide the persistence necessary for the long task of breaking up Bank of America.
Yesterday’s actions were an enormous success! ALEC has been brought out of the shadows and into the light and corporate power was challenged from coast to coast.
As an overview, the actions today varied from sit-ins and pickets to street theater and banner drops. There were many creative actions including a foreclosure on Citibank, a “Corporate Debutant Ball” in Salt Lake City, teach-ins in Norman, OK and Naples, FL, actions targeting Pfizer, the Koch Brothers and Bank of America in New York, and a delicious Ice Cream Bloc in Oakland. Three distribution centers of Wal-Mart were shut down in a coordinated southern California action, as well as the World Corporate Headquarters of Pfizer in Connecticut. Further ALEC corporations targeted included Monsanto in Washington D.C., AT&T in Kansas City, MO and Atlanta, an action at the BP trial in New Orleans, Bank of America in Charlotte, PNM in Alburqurque, Altria in Richmond, and Peabody Coal in St. Louis. Dozens of other cities took action as part of F29 including Denver, Minneapolis, Louisville, Winston-Salem, and many others. We are proud to say the tone of the actions today remained jubilant and focused even in the face of police repression.
Full details of the coordinated actions and a wrap-up video will be forthcoming. Please send additional videos to firstname.lastname@example.org and tag photos with #F29. Here is a gallery of photos from actions around the country:
Video of Actions in Portland:
Portland Action Lab would like to thank those that submitted material to the liveblog, as well as OPDXlive and others who helped to keep track of today’s successful actions. Special thanks to Adam Rothstein and the Portland Occupier for live blogging the actions throughout the day. We would also like to thank all the participants in each city in the United States and globally who came out to show solidarity and coordinated action against ALEC.
This is just the beginning. This movement will continue to grow and challenge both ALEC and corporate power. We will reclaim our voices and create a more just and sustainable future.
Welcome to the F29 Global Live Blog! The Liveblog has closed. Special thanks to Adam Rothstein and the Portland Occupier for live blogging the actions throughout the day.
All times listed in PST.
4:51 PM – Photos from Groton and New London, earlier today.
4:29 PM – The number of people arrested at protest in Kansas City, MO is revised to four.
4:14 PM – The Moapa Paiute Tribe, protesting Nevada Energy and Reid Gardner Coal Plant.
4:10 PM – It’s late in the day, but new protests are still starting! AT&T protest in Pasadena, CA; Bank of America and Chase Bank Protest in Olympia, WA; and a march through downtown Phoenix, AZ.
4:03 PM – Reports of riot police at march in Denver, with at least one arrest.
4:00 PM – Photo from New Orleans, where activists protested at the BP trial.
3:45 PM – Confrontation in Portland, as mounted police charge into crowd. The bloc refused to move, and so horses became dangerous, and had to retreat. Situation defused now. Interestingly, a representative from the US Department of Justice, in town for a hearing about police use of force, was on scene observing. Photos are below:
photo by Paul
photo by Paul
3:31 PM – Some actions going on now: Occupy Walmart in Stockton, CA; Occupy Peabody Coal, St. Louis, MO; Bank of America Protest, Las Cruces, NM; March in Norman, OK; and a Bank of America protest in Lima, OH. In other news, Long Island has foreclosed on Citibank.
3:22 PM – Reports that three Kansas City protesters were arrested for occupying an AT&T building.
3:18 PM – Three protesters have chained themselves to the Wells Fargo building in downtown Portland. Earlier, a “Regence Spokeperson” gave a statement saying the health care company is pulling out of ALEC. However, despite the professional looking letterhead he was armed with, there is some suspicion that this was a prank.
2:47 PM – A nice photo of the front of the march in Portland.
photo by Lauriel
2:34 PM – Other actions kicking off around now: Occupy Las Vegas March; Denver Rally and March; direct action in Rockford, MA; March in Norvolk, VA; Rally in Gainesville, FL;
Rally and March in Phoenix, AZ; Rally Minneapolis, MN; protest against Fletcher-Daniels in Kansas City, MO.
2:30 PM – A photo from the action against PNM in Albuquerque:
2:26 PM – A photo from the action in Atlanta:
2:21 PM – Two arrests in Portland, protesters allegedly jumped on a van near a Verizon. Soup Kitchen was just set up outside a McDonalds to serve healthier food.
12:56 PM – Occupy Oakland: “We’re going to go occupy some banks!” Livestream here. March in Portland is beginning, Livestream here. Other events: Rally in Richmond, VA; Rally at Yum! Center in Louisville, KY; protest at Reynolds American in Winston-Salem, NC; The Corporate Debutante Ball begins in Salt Lake City, UT; and teach-ins start in Norman, OK.
12:49 PM – 350-400 people now at Portland rally. Occupy Oakland “Ice Cream Bloc” in effect, watch it on Livestream.
12:33 PM – Ft. Meyers and Naples Florida are beginning their lobbying and teach-ins with elected officials.
12:13 PM – Screen grab from Livestream at SoCal Walmart protest.
12:05 PM – Attack on protesters continues in SoCal. Two streams up: one, and two.
11:55 AM – Portland rally growing, despite the rain. Other actions set to start at noon PST include a Bank of America protest in Half Moon Bay, CA; Occupy Verizon, Charlottesville, VA; and another Walmart in Lakeland, FL.
11:48 AM – More photos from the stand-off in SoCal.
11:40 AM – Rising Tide activists prepping their banner under the Burnside Bridge in Portland, below. Activists from affinity group Peace House have entered AT&T store on Portland’s East Side, dressed as “Alec-busters.”
11:27 AM – Kettling occurring in SoCal. Two streams up: one, and two. Photos below.
11:26 AM – Video of Tucson protesters locking down private prison corporation G4S:
11:15 AM – Protesters in NYC have shut down the Bank of America Tower, with workers watching from the windows. Here are NYC police outside of a Bank of America branch:
11:06 AM – More photos from SoCal:
11:00 AM – New protests starting NOW: Wells Fargo protest in Bozeman, MT; March to Altria in Richmond, VA; March to Monsanto in Austin, TX; and Bank of America protest in Charlotte, NC. Stand off with police in SoCal continues, photo below:
10:53 AM – Report of an officer hitting camera-people in NYC. Non-related photo from NYC:
Photo of the police in SoCal:
10:48 AM – Stand off between protesters outside of Walmart distributor and police.
10:06 AM – As the clock rounds ten in the morning, Pacific Time, Albuquerque and Santa Fe’s protest against PNM, the utility corporation in New Mexico, reaches it’s “peak usage period”. Sounds exciting. Another protest against G4S begins in Norman, Oklahoma.
10:01 AM – Report from Connecticut: “Eight arrests made outside Pfizer R&D facility in Groton, CT, after two hour march encircling campus. City and state police heavily followed the route of the march, and the main gate of the facility was closed from 7 am (EST) on. An electronic sign nearby instructed deliveries and visitors to go to alternate gate in anticipation of protest. Supposedly, the entire Groton city police department was called on duty to respond to 75 protesters.”
9:57 AM – Report from the SoCal Walmart occupation, that many police just arrived.
9:53 AM – In Arizona, private prison corporation G4S cut down their own fence, so that deportation buses could leave the property blockaded by protesters. The activists were taken in by police for ticketing, but then released and not arrested. Photos below:
9:47 AM – On Twitter, @occupyriverside reports that all targeted Walmart facilities [in California] have been shut down for the day.
9:42 AM – “Tent-like” object being deployed outside of Bank of America in NYC.
9:38 AM – Reports that police at the Bank of America protest in NYC are getting aggressive, pushing back the crowd to create a space around the bank. At least one arrest. Here’s a photo of the protest:
9:29 AM – Occupy LA and Long Beach have shut down a Walmart distribution center.
9:08 AM – Other global events that should be starting up include: a Rally in Huntsville, AL; a Rally in Dayton, OH; a protest outside of Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, NJ; a Rally in Nashville, TN; a Rally in Buffalo, NY; a protest at Verizon in Albany, NY; a protest at Walmart in Peekskill, NY; a protest at AT&T in Atlanta, GA, and a Rally in Richmond, VA. Michael Levitin reports from Bryant Park, NYC: “It’s raining and cold at Bryant Park, across from the Bank of America tower, where hundreds are gathered, drums are banging, and where Matt Taibbi just held a public talk detailing the crimes and the bankrupt potential of the bank. We are preparing to march and shut it down.”
9:05 AM – Orlando has begun marching to Bank of America. Many police officers outside of Pfizer in NYC.
8:52 AM – OWS protest approaching Pfizer, which is heavily protected by police. Report of Bank of America branch in midtown also shut down. Photo below of Matt Taibbi conducting teach-in in Bryant Park. Taibbi describes BoA as “biggest welfare program in America.”
8:47 AM – OWS forecloses on Wells Fargo.
8:40 AM – Occupy Austin put out a press release, announcing their intention to target Monsanto. Read it here: Occupy the Food Supply. Teach-ins underway in Bryant Park.
8:30 AM – 150 people in NYC marching from Bryant Park. Target: Pfizer. Two photos from Arizona below, where actions are underway against private prison company, G4S.
7:15 AM – Other actions that should be underway are in Connecticut, Hattiesburg, MS, Fargo, ND, Lakeland, FL, Tampa, FL, and Winston-Salem, NC. Another photo from LA below.
7:08 AM – There are widespread student protests in Spain today.
7:05 AM – Monsanto is reportedly locked down in DC. 10 to 11 arrests there. Police are barricading the front of the Bank of America Tower in NYC, photo below.
6:50 AM – Occupy LA and neighboring cities are shutting down a Walmart. Here are two feeds showing that action. One, and two. Occupy Austin is protesting Monsanto. Rallies have begun both in New York City and in Washington DC.
6:38 AM – According to events that have already been scheduled, at least ten protests have already kicked off this morning. We’ll bring you news of more events as we hear of them from the wire. To send us news and media of events in your city for the live blog, email email@example.com.
Occupy Portland calls for a national day of non-violent direct action to reclaim our voices and challenge our society’s obsession with profit and greed by shutting down the corporations. We are rejecting a society that does not allow us control of our future. We will reclaim our ability to shape our world in a democratic, cooperative, just and sustainable direction.
We call on people to target corporations that are part of the American Legislative Exchange Council which is a prime example of the way corporations buy off legislators and craft legislation that serves the interests of corporations and not people. They used it to create the anti-labor legislation in Wisconsin and the racist bill SB 1070 in Arizona among so many others. They use ALEC to spread these corporate laws around the country. Read the full call to action here.
If your city or organization is participating please let us know by filling out this form! We can post contact information for your action so that people in your area can get involved! Already 70+ cities are planning actions. Please connect with a city near you and come out and join the actions on Wednesday!
This is the national website for the F29 Shut Down the Corporations day of action. Portland’s information is hosted on the Portland Action Lab website. In Portland the rally will begin at 11:30 at SW Ankeny and Waterfront Park and the march will leave at 1:00.
Join us! Start organizing in your city. Get your General Assembly to join, your organization to endorse or otherwise participate in this call to action. Any organization or affinity group interested in this action should join this call. We will be working to both support and coordinate the action with conference calls, outreach materials and trainings. Once you know you will be participating please fill out this form with info about your city or organization so that we can add the details to the website and help people plug in locally!
We would also encourage you to check out our section on organizing your action with a spokes council and affinity groups. This is one important and effective way to organize these types of actions. It also does so in a way that is consistent with our movement’s value to direct democracy, participatory decision making, and non-hierarchical structures. Of course there are many ways to do this, but we have had enormous success with this model in Portland. The direct action spokes council, the Portland Action Lab, which is organizing Portland’s action used this organizing model on N17 to shut down most of the major corporate banks in downtown Portland!
Leap into action! Reclaim our future! Shut down the corporations!