Bank Transfer Day Is A MoveOn Astroturf Initiative

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From The Washington Compost: “…A grassroots movement that sprang to life last month is urging bank customers to close their accounts in favor of credit unions by Saturday.  The spirit behind “Bank Transfer Day” caught fire with the Occupy Wall Street protests around the country and had more than 77,000 supporters on its Facebook page as of Friday. The movement has already helped beat back Bank of America’s plan to start charging a $5 debit card fee…” This is rubbish! If you take what the lamestream media says at face value you might as ell believe in the tooth fairy. 

Bank Transfer Day, grassroots??? It’s the allegedly grassroots “stick it to Wall Street” movement that is an upstart group originating out of the Occupy Wall Street protests. The group is urging people to take their money out of the big banks on Saturday and transfer the money into local banks or credit unions. Credit unions and local banks are often publicly traded and hardly “mom-and-pops,” but, whatever. Reuters

It’s definitely not grassroots or an outgrowth of anything. The reason I know this is because I went undercover to a MoveOn meeting, whose sole purpose was to organize Occupy Long Island groups in various towns. They came up with the bank transfer plan.

Here is the MoveOn Astroturf agenda that I was given in October  –
5 Ideas for Making Wall Street Pay in your Community

The ideas below are to help guide the discussion during section 3 of the agenda. Your group
can use them as is, improve upon them, or come up with its own ideas for how to make Wall
Street pay during November. Here are some ideas and opportunities to help your meeting
plan what’s next:

1. Organize a “Make Wall Street Pay” event on November 5.
Note: After the meeting, post your group’s Nov. 5 event online here:

http://civic.moveon.org/event/events/create.html?action_id=258

A call has been spreading virally for a big day of actions around the country on November 5
targeting the banks. We’re helping organize a national day of action targeting banks like Chase
and Bank of America. Many local groups are mobilizing for this day of action. It’s a good
idea after your meeting to reach out to local unions, community groups, and any local
Occupy protesters. Here are a few tactical ideas to consider:


Move-Your-Money Protest
With a group of account holders from the bank, visit your local Bank of America, Chase, or
other big bank branch, close your accounts, and explain that you’re closing it because the
bank refuses to pay their fair share in taxes, halt unfair foreclosures, and adequately lend to
small businesses—all while accepting taxpayer bailouts. Invite the media to cover the event.


Informational Picket at a Local Bank of America or Chase Branch
Lead “Make Wall Street Pay” chants and distribute signs as the crowd and media gather.
March in a single-file line in front of your local Bank of America or Chase (or any of the Big
Banks) declaring your message. Hand out informational flyers asking passersby to withdraw
their money from the Big Banks.


Create a “Foreclosure Memorial”
Similar to a sidewalk memorial you see after tragic events, create a memorial for foreclosure
victims outside the bank. Ask people from the community to bring objects (ex. mortgage bills,
foreclosure notices, pictures of vacant homes, notes for bank executives, flowers, etc.) to
leave on the sidewalk. Call the media and attendees to attention to explain the purpose of the
memorial and ask a few people to speak. Speakers should include people whose homes are
underwater, foreclosure victims, etc. Lead a small delegation to deliver your message to the
bank manager. Report back to the crowd and thank everyone for coming.

2. Support and stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.
Whether there’s an Occupy near you or not, here are a couple of ideas for how to support the
Occupy Wall Street movement:


Work with your local Occupy group to take part in actions that are being organized or
organize actions in solidarity with them. Go down to the local Occupy group and ask them
what’s the most useful way to stand in solidarity with them.

Organize resources—blankets, food, garbage bags, and more—to help local occupiers
sustain their protest.

If there’s not a local Occupy protest in your community, you can organize an event (rally,
march, etc.) in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.
For more information on MoveOn and Occupy Wall Street protests, go here:

http://www.civic.moveon.org/owsfaq/share.html

3. Organize a local divestment and public-pressure campaign against the Big Banks in
your community.
All over the country people are getting organized to convince local leaders to move our public
funds out of the big Wall Street banks and back into our communities. By moving our money,
we’re not only helping our local economies, we’re also putting real pressure at the national level
on Wall Street to change their behavior—to stop foreclosures, pay their fair share in taxes, and
stop putting our whole economy at risk with massive gambles and speculative investing schemes.

Divestment campaigns are powerful because they give us a chance to have a much bigger
financial impact than any of us could by acting alone. Our cities, counties, churches, and schools
have much bigger bank accounts than we do–and we can influence where they put their money.

For example, the city of San Jose—after effective organizing by the community group People
Acting in Community Together—moved over $1 billion from the local Bank of America because of
the bank’s poor record of working with homeowners to stop preventable foreclosures from
happening.

For a complete toolkit and step-by-step guide to help plan a campaign, go here:

http://www.civic.moveon.org/makewallstreetpay/local/

4. National Teach-in Day on November 9: How the 1% crashed the economy (And what the
99% can do about It).
The Occupy Wall Street movement has struck a chord with millions of Americans. For the first
time in a long time, we’re having a national conversation about why 1% of the country is doing so
well, while 99% get squeezed.

We’re organizing a national round of teach-ins on Nov. 9—In libraries, community centers, and
living rooms across the country. This is part of a massive build-up toward the Nov. 17 National
Day of Action.

5. Organize an event for massive “Jobs Not Cuts—Make Wall Street Pay” day of action on
November 17.
On November 17, MoveOn is partnering with SEIU, AFL-CIO, and other unions and community
groups for a national day of action to demand Jobs Not Cuts. More details to come, but if your
meeting is interested in participating, a good first step is to ask for a volunteer to begin reaching
out to local unions and community groups to see if there’s something being planned in your
community. At the same time, you can do some preliminary planning by brainstorming possible
locations and ideas for what to do on the day. Anyone who signed up for your meeting will be
emailed about the Nov. 17 day of action with more details.

 

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