Unity and convergence are in the air. 400 people are attending one conference here in St. Louis to discuss creating an agenda for confronting corporate power. I’m sure it’s not too late for you to register to become number 401. You can e-mail them at info@convergence2011.org with questions. You can visit their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/midwes… Or you can call them at 314-862-2249.

(St. Louis, MO) — Against the backdrop of an economy held hostage by greed and politics, hundreds of concerned citizens are coming together to teach and learn how to stand up for a world we want to live in. What’s new about Midwest Rising is that activists from climate justice, racial justice and economic justice are creating a common agenda and framework for change, including an analysis of corporate power and visioning of what kind of world we want to live in.  

When: August 12 – 15, 2011

Where: University of Missouri St. Louis for workshops JC Penney Center, various places in St. Louis for actions.

Who: 400 people from 50 different organizations, including a cross-section of labor, community and climate organizations. Organizations represented include: Missourians Organizing Reform and Empowerment, Rising Tide, Climate Action STL, St. Louis Instead of War Coalition, Organization for Black Struggle, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Coal Country, Mountain Justice/ United Mountain Defense, Greening Detroit, SEIU, North County Neighbors, The Rainforest Action Network: Chicago Chapter, Pick up America.

On Friday, August 12, at 4:00 PM, there will be a rally at Bank of America in downtown St. Louis at 8th and Market, where a large number of people will close their Bank of America accounts.

Community members will pull our money out of BOA and invest in local banks and credit unions. People are taking action to invest locally because BOA is hurting our community and local economy. For example, Bank of America is foreclosing on hundreds of families without following proper procedures. Bank of America is sitting on billions of dollars that should be reinvested in our community so that we can rebuild our cities and neighborhoods. Bank of America paid $0 in federal taxes last year and continues to receive subsidies and tax breaks that are causing budget deficits and cuts in vital services. As part of a national movement, millions have already taken action against BOA.

There will also be a wide variety of direct actions on Monday, August 15.

Organizers of Midwest Rising will be available this week to discuss the strategy behind the gathering and what they hope to accomplish.

Midwest Rising builds on the growth of national direct actions in protest of big banks and corporate power run amok and community-killing dirty energy development. In April, 1000 people took over the Department of the Interior during Powershift to protest Earth-devastating energy extraction, while eight people committed acts of civil disobedience at the Wells Fargo Shareholders Meeting in San Francisco to protest banks gone wild.  In May, over 800 people in New York faced policemen, police dogs, and mace as they sent a message to the JP Morgan Chase Shareholders. In June, 1000 people marched over five days to Blair Mountain in West Virginia to demand an end to mountain top removal and the coal industry’s assault on the Appalachians and their mountains. People around the country are coming together to fight foreclosures and evictions, dirty energy projects, and corporate agendas that put profit before people and the planet.