Downtown shoppers and office workers on their lunch break Friday, May 21, found a gaggle of Coffee Party activists and supporters agitating for bank reform. A little over a dozen folks with signs, fliers, and chants were targeting four of the mega-banks in downtown – all within a few blocks of each other: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, and Citibank. The action was part of a nation-wide focus by the Coffee Party on banks and financial reform. Over a third of the protesters were from OB.
The Coffee Party action also reflected the sentiment expressed in a recent poll by this blog. The poll found that three-quarters of the respondents wanted some kind of bank reform, everything from breaking them up to nationalizing them.
In downtown San Diego on Friday, the protesters – some dressed up in costume – led a colorful procession through the banking section of downtown, stopping in front of each of the four mega-banks to chant and hand out fliers describing the billions each bank received in the national bail-outs. For instance, the top bank, Citi-Bank, received $341.1 Billion in bail-out monies.
One of the chants was “Move Your Money!” – a referencer to the campaign to have ordinary citizens move their accounts out of the mega-banks and into more local banks and credit unions.
The poll run by the OB Rag from May 10 through May 22 had 75 respondents – who were asked what they think should be done with the half-dozen large banks that control most of the US economy?
Half the respondents wanted to break apart the half dozen large banks, another 19% wanted accountability and more transparency, and 4% wanted them nationalized. Another 8% wanted to focus not on Wall Street but on Main Street.
15% of the respondents thought Congress would not be able to reform the banks. And the final 4% voted that the banks were the foundation of the capitalist system were needed as the linchpins of the economy.
Here is the poll, in the order questions were asked:
What do you think should be done about the half-dozen large banks that control most of the US economy?
* Break them apart – we need smaller entities that cannot control our economy.
38–51% of all votes
* Banks are the foundation of our capitalist system and are needed as linchpins for the entire economy.
3–4% of all votes
* Congress will never be able to reform how the banks operate.
11–15% of all votes
6–8% of all votes
* make them transparent & accountable. Status Quo is not an option.1
14–19% of all votes
* nationalize the banks. capital and finance are too important to be left profiteering1
3–4% of all votes
Total Votes: 75 —— May 10 – 22, 2010 (1 = Added by a guest)