Coffee Party Action at Downtown Mega-Banks Reflects Sentiment for Bank Reform in Recent Poll

by on May 22, 2010 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights, Economy, Organizing, San Diego

coffee bank protest 5-21-10 001-sm

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.

coffee bank protest 5-21-10 003-smIn 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.

Here is Dave Rice’s much better account for The Reader.

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.

coffee bank protest 5-21-10 004-sm15% 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

coffee bank protest 5-21-10 007-ed-sm* Forget Wall Street! We need to bail out Main Street.

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)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie May 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Here is Dave Rice’s better account for The Reader:


Frank Gormlie May 22, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Although we have better photos.


psd May 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I don’t know that my write-up is necessarily any better…but my cell phone cam pic is way better, because I’m not in it! Your pics fail because my lard butt shows up in the background of one. Also, the local website for the Coffee Party is at


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