About a dozen protesters set up outside Bank of America in Bryn Mawr on Wednesday afternoon.
The 99% Spring/MoveOn protest, organized by Wynnewood resident Karyn Hollis, was held in solidarity with the protest at the Bank of America shareholders meeting in Charlotte, N.C.
“We’re here because we don’t think that Bank of America is a bank for America,” Hollis said. “Their policies help out the 1 percent, and they are not acting to benefit the 99 percent.”
Hollis said she was inspired by the Occupy movement.
A phone call to Bank of America’s Bryn Mawr office was not returned Wednesday afternoon.
According to a MoveOn.org invitation to the protest:
1. "They haven't paid federal income taxes for the past three years." (The company did not pay income taxes because it was losing money.)
2. "They're a foreclosure leader and a cause of the crisis, illegally foreclosing on more than 8,000 homes." (Washington state accused Bank of America of conducting thousands of illegal foreclosures there; Bank of America and Morgan Stanley made a $22 million settlement for illegally foreclosing on 178 members of the military.)
3. "They're the biggest financer of dirty coal, pumping more than $4.3 billion into the coal industry in the past two years." (Bank of America partners with coal companies as part of its energy policy.)
4. "Last but not least, they've spent over $20 million in lobbying and political campaigning since the 2008 elections—with our bailout money!" (Bank of America has spent more than $16 million in lobbying since 2008.)
Bank of America is also laying off 30,000 employees, Hollis said.
Hollis’s mother used to bank with Bank of America but transferred everything to the Navy Federal Credit Union. Hollis banks with the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union.
Narberth resident Dana Kelley said she used to have a credit card with Bank of America but has since taken out her account.
“It’s just gotten obscene, the greed in this country," she said. “I wish more people would support their local bank.”
Gerri Burton, of Bryn Mawr, said she considers herself a political activist, and said she has gone to Washington, D.C., to speak out on certain legislative issues, including paper trails in elections.
“I’m very concerned with the direction of the country,” Burton said. “Wall Street doesn’t produce anything.”
The financial industry is “raw, unfettered and out of control,” she added.