Last week, RAN teamed up with Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization, Occupy Chicago, and Reverend Billy for a week of action against B of A highlighting the bank’s $4.3 billion dollars invested in the coal industry and its impacts on local communities in Chicago.
The week started out with a visit to Bank of America’s regional office in downtown Chicago with Reverend Billy. At 5 p.m., just as BoA employees were leaving for the day, protesters held a special sermon led by the good Reverend while informing employees and passersby of the bank’s investments in dirty coal.
On Saturday, a number BoA customers entered a bank branch in the heart of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood and closed their bank accounts. This particular branch was very symbolic for the account closings since it is located only a few blocks from the highly controversial Fisk coal-fired power plant. After their money was withdrawn, a press conference was held outside of the bank, where Pilsen residents and RAN activists further explained the bank’s ties to the coal pollution poisoning the community.
To top the day off, activists and community members marched 3 miles in 15 degree weather from Pilsen to the downtown offices of Midwest Generation, the owner of the Fisk coal plant.
After a week of direct action in Chicago, BoA heard our voices loud and clear, but it is going to take a lot more than just Chicago to win this fight. We need all of you involved in this. Please take the pledge to close your account or boycott BoA ATM’s.
Check out this video highlighting our work in Chicago: