Calif. Church Takes Page From 'Occupy Wall Street' by Divesting Funds From Bank of America
In a press conference last Wednesday for People Acting in Community Together, pastor of the Most Holy Trinity Church in San Jose, Calif., Eduardo Samaniego, joined other congregations, organizations and community members in announcing that the church will be cutting its ties with Bank of America in a move to say "no" to the larger banks that have caused the economy to crumble.
"As pastor of Most Holy Trinity Church, I'm ending a more than 20-year relationship with Bank of America today and we will be moving both the accounts of the parish and of our parish school," said Samaniego, as seen in a video of the press conference shown below.
"We are moving to Microbranch Bank, a credit union, to say 'no more' to Bank of America to use our money and investing in bad loans and not negotiating fairly. Our budgets together are three million dollars, so I think that will make a big enough statement," he added.
The pastor called on California's attorney general Kamala Harris, as well as attorney generals throughout the country to pursue litigation against the major banks that have taken homes away from struggling families and used funds to issue bad loans.
"Let's be clear, for four long years our jobless brothers and sisters and the communities surrounding them have organized and tried to negotiate with the banks in good faith," said Samaniego.
"They demanded from them that they stop stealing our homes, that they stop destroying our communities, that they stop splitting our families. We have demanded that they do principle reduction loan modifications. We have demanded that they do not foreclose on us while they are seeking loan modifications. Our momentum has been growing slowly but surely."
The protest against the major bank branches is one of many grassroots movements arising out of the recent "Occupy Wall Street" protests, which are calling for an end to political and financial corruption, among other things. A "Bank Transfer Day" is the latest movement scheduled for Nov. 5, calling for people to divest their money from the major banks to have their voices heard.