Unlikely Alliance of Economic, Labor, Environmental and Student Groups Confront Corporate Power with 50+ Protests Nationwide
Coalition Issues Demands to Bank of America, Sallie Mae, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo and Verizon; Plans to mobilize tens of thousands of people in lead up to shareholder season
An unlikely coalition of workers, retirees, families fighting foreclosure, students, immigrants, and environmentalists will engage in more than 50 protests and direct actions across the United States to make joint demands of what they’re calling the “worst of the worst” corporate offenders: Bank of America, Sallie Mae, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo and Verizon. The ‘Confront Corporate Power’ movement launches this week, in actions from Wednesday to Friday, and puts the corporations on notice that there will be massive protests at their shareholder meetings this spring.
The direct actions include: takeovers of bank buildings and meetings of corporate officials, civil disobedience, prayer vigils, and more.
The coalition brings together more than 75 groups, including National Peoples Action, The New Bottom Line, Rainforest Action Network, Jobs with Justice, Right to the City, and 350.org, collectively representing hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Calling itself the ‘Confront Corporate Power’ coalition, the groups aim to target top corporations responsible for home foreclosures, tax evasion, subprime and predatory lending, and the financing of environmental degradation.
“Starting now, we will expose, pressure, and challenge the worst of the worst – from Bank of America to Wal-Mart. Our demands are very clear. We are calling on top corporations to pay their fair share of taxes, create jobs and treat workers fairly, and get their money out of politics. We also demand Bank of America and other big banks provide principal reduction to underwater homeowners in order to end the foreclosure crisis, and stop financing dirty energy projects that are risking the health of our families and our climate,” said George Geohl, executive director of National Peoples Action, which is a founding member of The New Bottom Line.
The focus of the coalition will be on the upcoming shareholder season. As a call to action letter issued by the coalition this Monday stated: “By the time shareholder season is done, we’re going to: Train and mobilize tens of thousands of people; Put thousands of people face-to-face with corporate decision makers at shareholder meetings; and, make the imbalance of corporate power one of the top election issues.”
“It is time to address the country’s biggest problems, from home foreclosures to climate change, with big solutions. Building on the power of the Occupy movement, we are pointing squarely at the corporations most responsible for widening the gap between rich and poor, undermining our democracy, and destroying our environment,” said Rebecca Tarbotton, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network.