Occupy The Banks, an offshoot of Occupy Salem, has a standing action in 2012; for the first three Fridays of every month this year they’ll stand outside a Salem “Big Bank” from noon to 1:00, to educate the public about the damage large banks have done to the economy and to encourage people to move their money to a local banking institution or credit union.
The group rotates between downtown locations of Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase. Barbara Roy of Salem has participated in Occupy actions like this since last October. She says, “We get a lot of waves, thumbs-ups and beeps. People understand that the banks are responsible for the economic pain we’re in.”
“It’s important for people to move their money because the banks haven’t received justice yet, and they’re still carrying on the same kind of business policies that landed the whole world in a recession.”
According to Katheryne Moore, an Occupy The Banks organizer, the fourth Friday is dedicated to discussing with local businesses how they, too, can move their money. The expansion beyond single individuals to larger banking customers is deliberate, Moore explains. “We really think it’s important to put pressure on the big “too big to fail” banks, since they’re still illegally foreclosing on folks, committing crimes against people.”
Stan Trumpi, another Salemite, says he participates in Occupy The Banks because local credit unions, as opposed to large banks, support the local economy and community. “It’s horribly important that our government is bought and paid for by the richest of the rich who made huge profits off the rest of us. Wall Street is doing great; Main Street is doing horribly. Why would we want to give our money to these people?”
According to Moore, “anyone and everyone” is welcome to join the ongoing bank action and can find updated information on the group’s (OccupySalemOregon) Facebook page.