Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 16th - Bank Transfer Day

In the near future is a movement to transfer accounts for a major bank to a local credit union known as Bank Transfer Day (see Event Page). Credit unions keep the money local, helping grow the local economy. In all reality it seems like a no-brainer! Why haven't we been doing this since the Bush bailouts?

The movement was created by Kristen Christian, a 27 year old art dealer from San Francisco. When asked by's Jen Doll about why she started the movement Kristen had this to say :

"Mostly just, I was tired. I was tired of being charged bank fee after bank fee after bank fee. If their site is down, if I call in, I get a 2 dollar charge. That's not my fault. When they decided to react so negatively to the Durbin Amendment, that made me sick.

Another example: I took my mother to a Mother's Day brunch, and she had to pay because the bank decided to freeze my funds. It took nearly three days to give me access again. They said it was frozen for suspicious activity, but they made no attempt to contact me, they just froze my funds. The straw that broke the camel's back was the info that the banks had made donations to the NYPD prior to the police abusing Occupy Wall Street protesters. I believe it was Chase, but regardless, their behaviors are all so similar, it was sickening. The bank was using money they made off me and my funds to give the NYPD money to abuse people I see as my brothers and sisters. 

So it started as a small movement -- the initial invite was to 500 people -- and then it started going to the Occupied Facebook walls."

Although the movement is not connected with the Occupy Movement, some of the symbols which have come to popularity through the Occupy Movement and through the hacktivist collective anonymous have helped popularize the event. Even without the direct connection, the BTD Movement most definitely rings true to those of us involved with the Occupy Movement.

First we have the CitiBank incident which I mentioned in an earlier post wherein people who attempted to close their accounts with CitiBank in NYC were locked in by the branch manager until police arrived. They were then arrested on misdemeanors of trespassing.

There is also a more recent, second event with a less dramatic story in which Occupy Santa Cruz  marched to a Bank of America to close their accounts with the bank. Upon arrival they were told by the branch manager that they were not allowed to be protesters and customers at the same time. The Occupiers proceeded  to call the police who spoke with the branch manager.

The officer had this to say. "According to the bank manager, “If they came in with the signs and they were part of the protest earlier, then they are protesters and cannot be customers at the same time.”

As you can see, there is a great deal of fear coming out of the banks. As there should be. The Facebook Event Page for the BTD Movement started on October 4th at 2:00 PM and since then has gained 41,750 "Attending" confirmations. Also, there is the Oregon State Bank which will be helped by your show of support whenever possible. This will be one of the greatest ways to invest in your state and help create jobs for your friends, family, and neighbors! Show your support. We are the 99%!

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