Two months ago, I reported that National People’s Action (NPA) was planning to sit down on two of the biggest banks, hoping to hear them cry Uncle. Yes, I know that sounds overly optimistic–to the point of deranged? Maybe not. Large corporations get jumpy when thousands of protesters show up at their annual stockholders’ meetings. It hurts their stock prices. Demonstrations like these got Wal-Mart to raise wages and offer better health insurance in Chicago a few years ago. It can work. And this week NPA will show up in force at stockholders’ meetings for two of the worst banks: Wells Fargo in San Francisco on Tuesday and Bank of America in Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday. Besides, this week’s actions are only one part of NPA’s larger strategy (That plan, fully explained in that February posting I mentioned, is to pressure the three main regulators–Bernanke, Bair and Dugan–to clamp down on the worst actors and embarrass said worst actors with noisy street action.)
And here’s the cool part: you can mug for the teevee cameras right here in Missouri and demonstrate how you feel about Bank of America, et. al. Because there’s going to be a rally in Kansas City on Tuesday.
Last time NPA held a rally protesting the behavior of the banks, thousands showed up. It was the Showdown in Chicago–which the Post-Dispatch ignored, but which most papers nationwide covered. In fact, every time a TV station wants to illustrate how pissed off the populace is at banks, it dredges footage from that rally out of the archives. They have to use video from that rally because there have been no others. Till now.
In Missouri, it’s at Barney Allis Plaza, 12th and Wyandotte in downtown KC at 1:00 Tuesday. The rally will start there and eventually we’ll march to the Bank of America. There will be demonstrations like this all over the country. We’re softening BoA up for the big march in Raleigh the next day.
The weather should be perfect. If you don’t live in Kansas City, you can hitch a ride. GRO will be taking buses from Columbia and Mexico (contact Lily Tinker Fortel at email@example.com, 573-999-1262) and two vans (seats still available as of Sunday afternoon) from St. Louis (contact Jeff Ordower at firstname.lastname@example.org, 314-267-4664).