"It is the death of humanity to know the price of everything but the value of nothing." ~Unknown

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Bank of America: bad for America!"

Class Warfare: Hundreds Protest Outside Bankers' Houses In DC

Huge raucous crowds converged outside bank employees' houses on Sunday afternoon to demand banks stop lobbying against Wall Street reform. 

"Bank of America: bad for America!" shouted community leaders outside the house of Bank of America general counsel Gregory Baer.

The Chicago-based grassroots organization National People's Action, in coordination with the SEIU, bused more than 700 workers from 20 states to Baer's neighborhood, one of the wealthiest corners of Washington. The action kicks off several days of protests targeting K Street for lobbyists' role in financial reform. 

Baer himself apparently tried to blend in with the crowd until a neighbor outed him. The mob booed loudly as he walked into his house. "I don't have time for you," he said, according to Trenda Kennedy of Springfield, Ill. who used a bullhorn to tell the crowd about her trouble getting a mortgage modification from Baer's bank. 

Kennedy told HuffPost she'd been making reduced monthly payments thanks to a trial modification via the Home Affordable Modification Program. She said that when the bank turned her down for a permanent mod, she was told she still owed all the money she'd been paying during the trial. She said she's been notified of several sheriff's sale dates but has somehow managed to keep her home.
"Every time I'm inches away from losing my house, by some miracle it's been pushed off," said Kennedy, who is a member of Illinois People's Action.

Passersby and dogwalkers smiled at the sight of people gathered all over Baer's lawn and blocking the road. Baer's neighbor from across the street won little sympathy when he angrily yelled at protesters for waking up his two-year-old daughter. Kennedy was one of several people who used a bullhorn to tell personal bank horror stories.

Baer, formerly a senior official at the Treasury department, is a lawyer for the bank's regulator and public policy legal group. Bank of America declined to comment.

"Bank of America came to the homes of everyday Americans when you spread predatory loans in neighborhoods across, the country, when you financed payday-lending storefronts, when your reckless behavior sent the economy to the brink of disaster, and when your bank-owned properties littered neighborhoods from coast to coast," said a letter the group asked Baer to deliver to CEO Brian Moynihan. "You've created a historic mess and have been unreceptive to very polite, very formal and very consistent requests to fix the problems you helped create."

The group also protested outside the house of Peter Scher, a lobbyist for JPMorgan Chase. Nobody answered the door.


Todd Curl said...

It's nice to see some good old fashioned grassroots protesting that might actually do some good, though the corporate media ignores any movement that is protesting something necessary for the survival of democracy. The tea-baggers on the other hand, are always in the news by protesting -- well, I'm not sure what they're protesting; their own interests?

Bank of America is unfortunately one of the largest opponents to anything that comes close to reigning in the greed of Wall Street. I'm tired so forgive my sloppiness of thought, but when greedy banks always win over the will of the people, I have little faith in Democracy.

But alas, it's primary day tomorrow. Fortunately for me, I'm registered independent and don't have to feel the guilt of knowing whoever I vote for is going to do anything but represent my interests.

A Free America: You Decide said...

THANKS FOR THE COMMENT TODD! I agree with you about the corporate media, keyword being 'corporate'. The media is only going to report what their corporate overlords say they can. Junk News, ie. Celebrity News and frankly I wouldn't give two dead flies for any info/news about Paris Hilton or the rest of ridiculous lot of them!!! I can't even begin to convey how disgusted I am with this corporate owned country along with the medeia without getting vulgar and trashy. Washington if jammed packed with slimy, putrid, soulless, corporate, bank owned whores in expensive suits in vain attempt to look respectable. There's only a handful of senators and congressman that you could trust not to steal the pennies off of your dead grandmother's eyes. You absolutely can not believe a thing these politicians say. There's a fitting phrase that I once heard a TV Judge say: 'I wouldn't believe them if their tongue came notarized'. The whole friggen system is corrupt, Congress is corrupt. The legislative branch is corrupt. One a windy day I can smell the festering rot all the way here in Pittsburgh from Washington.....please forgive my rant Todd. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Hollywood Beach said...

Thanks for covering this action and this issue.
I participated in the Sunday actions at the Baer/Scher residences on May 16th and the Monday NPA actions at ICE, K-Street lobbyists, and BoA.
Absolutely true that national corporate media outlets failed to cover these events.
I still watch PBS but have given up on most U.S. national news presentations, instead, viewing DW news, France 24 news, Al Jazeera, Russian, and BBC news.