After a protest in front of the downtown Bank of America building this afternoon at 5pm, about 15 Rhode Islanders are heading off to Charlotte North Carolina to join thousands of others from across the United States to protest at the bank’s annual shareholder’s meeting.
Today’s action in downtown Providence in front of the Superman building, said Christopher Rotondo, of DARE or Direct Action for Rights and Equality, “is so Bank of America knows there is a local group here in Rhode Island taking up these demands.”
The demands, according to a DARE press release:
- Principal reduction for all homeowner and full restitution for all those who lost homes. Bank of America has promised principal reduction to current value for 200,000 households. That (verbally) goes much further than any other bank in the recent Attorney General’s settlement. We therefore demand a principal reduction plan byall banks.
- Banks should hand over all their unoccupied, foreclosed housing to community and non-profit ownership that is not subject to foreclosure or speculation
- Reparations to communities of color targeted for predatory lending, including below-market loans to all communities of color
- We Want an end to evictions and for banks to commit to protecting the right of tenants to stay in their homes by healthy and habitable properties
Members of DARE and the Environmental Justice League of RI will then be taking a new-to-the road bio-diesel bus to Boston before making another 16 hour bus trip to Charlotte starting at 11 p.m. tonight.
DARE has been leading or lending to support to direct action against Bank of America id downtown Providence since October.
Here’s more from release from DARE and the Environmental Justice League of RI:
The rally is part of a massive nationwide effort called 99% Power which Will be protesting outside shareholder meetings across the country to hold corporate America accountable. “Because of big banks like Bank of America, many families don’t have basic rights in this country. Because of banks like Bank of America, the gap between the rich and the poor is getting Wider. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. We the people bailed out the banks and they don’t feel justified or righteous enough to help provide jobs or help people in foreclosure,” explains Theresa, Board Glaixperson of DARE. “That’s why DARE and our alliance called Right to the Gty are going to North Carolina to protest Bank of America, RrtC Wants the people in the city to take back the city and to build cities that are just, democratic, and sustainable. The banks should not have us, we should have the banks.”
“The E] League understands that foreclosure and eviction are environmental justice issues. Bank of America evícts families and decimates whole blocks, attracting litter and rats, which impacts the environment and health of the entire neighborhood. Three of our Youth members are going to Charlotte to tell Bank of America to stop evicting families and stop bank-rolling fossil fuels and climate change,” explains Rodriguez-Drix, organizer with the Environmental Justice League.
The Right to the City Alliance will be converging in Charlotte, North Carolina as part of 99% Power to shed light on the divisions between the 1% and the 99%. Alliance members in attendance include: City Life/ Vida Urbana, Boston., MA, Mothers on the Move and Community Voices Heard, NY, Miami Workers C/enter and Power U, Florida, Direct Action for Rights and Equality, Providence, RI, Springfield No @ne Leaves, Springfield, MA and the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island.