Sunday, January 18, 2009

Breaking up with Bank of America

I encouraging people (especially Marlboro students) to participate in the mass day of account closings action against Bank of America. There are a couple of organizations with ongoing campaigns to get BOA to clean up its act, and with the billions of dollars pouring into it from the government, we are pushing for it to stop fucking people over. Below are more details...






This Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2009, join Rising Tide Boston (RTB) in demanding that Bank of America stop its funding of the dirty and deadly coal industry and demanding, in solidarity with City Life/Vide Urbana, stop its unjust foreclosures and evictions of working families. Closing your account with Bank of America (BOA) is an important step in bringing closure to this unhealthy relationship. In Boston, we are planning a day of coordinated bank account closures in at least two locations, and encourage people in other places to organize something similar.

It is completely within Bank of America's power to stop evicting people from their homes, and such a step wouldn't be unprecedented. Mortgage giant Fannie Mae recently announced a moratorium on evictions of tenants in foreclosed houses after facing pressure from housing justice activists. Now is [the] time to let BOA know in no uncertain terms that we won't allow them to push any of us or our neighbors out of our homes, and that we're certainly not going to trust them with our money.

Soledad Lawrence, a community organizer with City Life / Vida Urbana says that the racist foreclosure crisis is "like Katrina without the water." We will not allow Bank of America's predatory lending practices to displace poor people and people of color in our city or anywhere. The same working-class communities that are most oppressed by the economic system these greedy banks support are now facing the worst effects of the environmental devastation that it causes. While communities in Boston continue to struggle in the face of the ongoing disaster of foreclosures and evictions, communities in Appalachia are fighting back against the disaster of the coal industry, which is poisoning their water and displacing them from their homes. Climate change is a social justice issue, and we must build alliances now to confront the corporations who put profit before people and the planet.

Recently, Bank of America attempted to salvage its relationship with the movements working to end mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR) by releasing a [statement on] Coal Policy, in which the bank failed to commit to a timeline or any concrete action to halt their financing of MTR. In this "policy", BOA touts "advanced technologies such as carbon capture and storage" as solutions to climate change. BOA does not seem to understand that we need is a livable planet that hasn't been turned into an overheated toxic wasteland, not token gestures or promises to support false solutions. The recent devastating coal-ash spill in Tennessee is a reminder that we already have enough ongoing and imminent disasters from the coal industry- we don't need any more. BOA's first step should be the immediate cancellation of loans to destructive corporations such as Peabody Energy, Massey Energy, Arch Coal, Dominion, and all others involved with mountaintop removal and trashing the climate.

We encourage everyone who does business with Bank of America to take time this Valentine's Day to tell them "it's over between us." In Boston, we're encouraging people to pledge ahead of time, so we can know how many people to expect and let them know which branch we will be at. Even if you don't have a bank account at Bank of America, you can still participate at a support rally. We are calling on social and environmental justice groups around the country to work together organize account closings in their communities on this day. Without our money, greedy banks cannot continue to destroy the planet and exploit marginalized communities.

For help organizing a day of mass account closings in your town, or to make a pledge to close your account in the Boston area, write to:

Stay tuned to for some suggestions or logistical support.

For information about City Life/Vida Urbana, check out

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