BofA Day: Protesters mark shareholders meeting
In Charlotte, North Carolina, five people have already been arrested at the Bank of America shareholders meeting today. In Charlottesville, members of a group called Blue Ridge Council for Conscious Action gather outside Bank of America on the Downtown Mall in solidarity with the NC protest, while a security guard keeps an eye on the dozen or so sign-carrying citizens.
"We will not go inside the bank," says organizer Freeman Allan at the May 9 event. "We will not block traffic. We just want to talk."
Allan says this is the "backwash of the 99 percent." His group is concerned with the "megabanks" that led to massive foreclosures and the ensuing federal bailout.
"We're an up-welling," says Allan, describing the group as nonpartisan, nonviolent, and nonconfrontational. "It's critical," he says, "to engage in peaceful dialogue with the megabanks."
Update: One of the prominent signs in the protest carries a quotation attributed to Thomas Jefferson but which does not appear in any of the writings of the Sage of Monticello, according to Monticello officials, who have already listed the apocryphal statement, that banks will make "children wake up homeless," on its list of "spurious quotations."
However, Monticello confirms that Jefferson did say something equally provocative. He wrote, "[B]anking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
"Thanks for catching our gaffe," says Allan, who debriefed the member who made the sign and found that she had misread the Monticello site and missed the fact that the quotation was spurious. But, noting the part about "swindling futurity," Allan notes that the spirit of the quotation was correct.
–story updated at 6:48pm Wednesday and 9:18pm Thursday