Occupy Wall Street protesters marched around midtown Manhattan on Wednesday chanting anti-corporate slogans outside banks and the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Scores of police officers followed the protesters on foot and on motorcycles and used metal barricades to keep them from their targets, including Citibank and Bank of America branches.

Outside of Pfizer’s headquarters on East 42nd Street, protesters unfurled a banner that said “Health care for the 99 percent.”

"I have to go to Canada to buy Pfizer drugs for half the price that I pay for them here," said Michael Miller, 68.  Miller said he takes prescription drugs including Lipitor, the cholesterol-lowering medication, which is sold by Pfizer.

A Pfizer spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the protest.

Protesters then headed to Bryant Park, where Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi led a teach-in about Bank of America. He described mortgage-backed securities as “banks selling oregano as weed.”

The protesters then tried to rally outside the Bank of America Tower, across from the park, but police officers kept them away from the tower, arresting a woman dressed in red tights and clown makeup. Another protester was arrested for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk.

A police spokesman had no information on the midtown arrests but he said nine protesters were arrested early Wednesday in lower Manhattan and another four in the East Village.

rainforestactionetwork

bankruptingamerica (via Intersectionssouthla.org):

Community joins fight against retired teacher’s foreclosure

Community activists arrived in droves to a small house on W. 60th St in South Los Angeles late on Wednesday afternoon, with the intent of blocking the eviction of 79 year-old retired teacher Faith Parker. …

According to daughter Saundra Parker, in 2006, at the height of the real estate bubble, the house worth about $350,000. “My mother refinanced and took out a $150,000 loan to pay for some family medical and legal bills without telling me. When I saw the bill the first time I saw it was an adjustable loan. I called Countrywide right away to change it, but they said it couldn’t be done. So we just stuck with it.”

When the adjustable mortgage became too heavy a load in 2008, the Parkers applied for a loan modification with Countrywide. A year later, they received a notice from Bank of America informing them they were the new mortgage holders.They offered a loan modification. Saundra says a bank representative told her they couldn’t proceed, because the loan was not in arrears. “They told me to stop making the payments, so we would go in arrears and then qualify for the loan modification,” she claims.

The Parkers stopped making payments in 2009 and filed the paperwork for the loan modification. In May of 2011 they were denied the modification and the house went into foreclosure.

“Bank of America promised to work with my mother, but they lied,” says Saundra. “It’s called greed and elder abuse.”

Bank Of America Sends Internal Email Exposing Where Occupy Movement Is Hurting It Most

An internal email was sent out to all Bank of America Corp Field Services regarding the Dec. 6th National Day of Action to Occupy Our Homes. See the email below. 

The email reads that this event “could impact our industry." Well, yes, BAC, that is our hope. Thanks for noticing!

The email further includes specific warnings to BAC “field services” agents:

1. Your safety is our primary concern, so do not engage with the protesters;

2. While in neighborhoods, please take notice of vacant BAC Field Services managed homes and ensure they are secured;

3. Remind all parties of the bank’s media policy and report any media incidents to 1-800-796-8448 or email at pressroom@bankofamerica.com.

Aside from the superficial implications, what is more important is that the big banks are showing precisely what the weakest links in the system are, and what makes them the most nervous. It is not protesters living in tents in a major metropolitan city; it is protesters disrupting the lifeblood of the broken banking system - the home selling/repossession pathway. 

Occupy Homes! 

[source]

occupy-boston

 Bank of America recently won approval for $410 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit claimed Bank of America maximized overdraft fees by waiting to process debit transactions or changing the sequence of transactions. The lawsuit basically accused the bank of manipulating accounts for personal gain. The $410 million seems like a huge amount of money, until the gravity of the amount of money made off the fees by the bank is realized at $4.5 billion.

dreamshare

dreamshare:

Off-duty cop in front of Bank of America attacks protester

GET THIS. 8 Occupy protesters were arrested in Dallas this past November 5th during a riot.  Okay, we’ve heard that before. The headlines say that this is what happened: Cop asks protester to get off of a planter box he’s standing up on.  Protester gets violent and attacks cop. Riot ensues. 


ACTUALLY, what happened is this: protester is standing on planter box. OFF-DUTY police officer wearing his cop uniform pushes him off.  Protester breaks a bunch of ribs.  

Stephen Benavides, the protester who was not doing anything violent or out of his rights in the first place, spent four nights in jail on a felony charge of assaulting a public servant and resisting arrest.  One article even says he tried to hit an officer in the face with a flagpole! Thank goodness for this poor guy that someone took a video of what actually happened.  7 other people were charged with “improperly using a sidewalk”.


Initially Police Chief David Brown defended the officer who insisted that he was violently attacked, but when the video came out on youtube he issued this statement:

Last night, the Dallas Police Department discovered a new video of the Occupy Dallas demonstration that occurred on November 5, 2011. The video shows a Dallas Police Officer, who was working off-duty for Bank of America, push a demonstrator off a planter in front of the building.

Chief David Brown has ordered the officer placed on restricted duty and initiated a formal investigation into the officer’s actions. The restricted duty assignment will also prohibit the officer from working off-duty employment until the departmental investigation is complete.

In light of this development, the Police Department has requested that the Dallas County District Attorney and the Dallas City Attorney proceed no further with the criminal cases alleged to have occurred until further consultation takes place. These meetings are anticipated to occur next week.

The Dallas Police Department is dedicated to the protection of all members of the public. Any allegation of police misconduct is taken seriously and will be vigorously investigated.



Seriously, if I show up to one of these things should I expect cops to break a few of my ribs, shoot my face at close range with a grenade, or spray pepper stray straight into my eyes even though I’m doing everything I’m told?
Is this a free society?

cognitivedissonance

From ThinkProgress:

Over at DailyKos, user marvinborg recounts how he was handing out flyers about moving money at a local Bank of America branch. Soon after he arrived there, the branch’s manager came out and started to suggest marvinborg worked for a credit union or that he was unemployed and should “get a job.” Before long, two police officers arrived, after being called by the Bank of America.

One of the officers asked marvinborg if he was trespassing. He responded that he has simply been handing out flyers on the sidewalk. One of the officers then turned to the bank manager and amazingly scolded him for calling the police over an act of free speech, even telling him that he should move out of the country if he objects to the first amendment:

OFFICER: He has the right to speak and the right to hand out flyers. Unless he blocks you or causes a disturbance, he has the right to be here – please don’t call the police again if he is not bothering you. If you don’t like free speech you should move to another country.

reagan-was-a-horrible-president
Let us never forget that it was the Bank of America and the other huge financial institutions on Wall Street who caused the recession that we are in resulting in millions of people losing their jobs, their homes, their life savings. Let us never forget that when Wall Street was on the verge of collapse it was the American people and the Fed who bailed them out. And now that Wall Street and the large banks are making very handsome profits, paying their CEOs some of the largest compensation packages they’ve ever received their thank you to the American people was to charge them five dollars a month debit fee. Well, you know what happened? The American people said thanks, but no thanks. It wasn’t the Senate that turned this around. It wasn’t the House that turned this around. It was the American people and I want to applaud the people for the Occupying Wall Street campaign who focused attention on the greed of Wall Street and the millions of other Americans who have said enough is enough. So, today I want to congratulate the American people. You did it. You took on the largest financial institution in the United States of America and you beat them.

Bank of America Corp. has dropped its plan to charge customers $5 a month for making purchases with their debit cards, responding to a customer backlash after the fee was announced in September.

The move is the highest-profile retreat on the issue, following decisions last week by Wells Fargo & Co. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to drop customer tests of the new fees. SunTrust Banks Inc. and Regions Financial Corp. also said Monday that they will stop charging customers for debit-card transactions.

Chase and Wells Fargo are joining the list of banks that won’t be charging customers to use their debit cards, as the backlash over Bank of America’s planned $5 monthly fee continues.

Banks were justifying the fees by stating that they need to recoup revenue lost to new regulations that limit the fees they can collect from retailers for handling debit card transactions. But the new fees sparked a huge backlash.

Signs like, “I bailed out the banks and all I got was a $5 debit card fee” have been spotted the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York and its sibling protests around the country. The author of the regulations, Sen. Richard Durbin, D.-Ill, called the fee an “outrage” on the floor of the Senate.

“It is hard to believe that a bank would impose such a fee on loyal customers who simply are trying to access their own money on deposit,” he said. “Especially when Bank of America for years has been encouraging their customers to use debit cards as much as possible.”

People are literally walking into branches and cutting up their Bank of America cards,” Kirk Kordeleski, CEO of Bethpage Federal Credit Union in Long Island, N.Y., said last week.

The backlash hasn’t gone unnoticed by other banks.

Keep up the good fight everyone! We are making an impression. Let’s keep it going strong! Together we can force change.

occupyphilly

IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE CLOSING BANK OF AMERICA ACCOUNTS

thedisgruntledgradstudent:

BFF2 is reading up on this, and tells me that you MUST disconnect all payment accounts, too, or they will keep paying your bills and charge you overdraft fees.

We are having a hard time determining what this mean, like if this means your autopay accounts (which is what we believe) or if it’s even more insidious than that.