March and Rally Launches Nationwide Campaign to Demand Banks Stop Lobbying Against Financial Reform
(CHICAGO) Today, in the largest taxpayer mobilization since the economic crisis began, more than 5,000 Americans from 20 cities will converge on the American Bankers Association (ABA) convention in Chicago. The march and rally concludes three days of demonstrations around the ABA convention and launches a nationwide campaign to demand big banks and Wall Street stop spending millions in taxpayer dollars to lobby against financial reform.
Events kicked off Sunday with a gathering of hundreds of ordinary Americans who have lost their homes, jobs, and pensions during the bank-induced economic crisis sharing their stories and hearing from Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). That evening, more than 900 people were organized to take their message directly to the ABA at a banker's ball being held at their convention.
On Monday, FDIC Chair Sheila Bair addressed nearly 1,000 people and reaffirmed her support for much needed reforms like the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. She told the crowd she would deliver that message when she addressed the ABA convention later that morning. Following Bair's remarks, taxpayers took their message directly to the banks at demonstrations outside of Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and the ABA convention.
After taking $17.8 trillion in taxpayer bailouts and backstops, the ABA and the six largest banks have spent more than $35 million fighting Congressional action on financial reform. Meanwhile, ordinary Americans continue to face rising foreclosures, record unemployment, skyrocketing bank and credit card fees, and vanishing pensions and 401(k)s.
Taxpayers will leave Chicago today to mobilize their communities and ensure Congress acts immediately to rein in the reckless policies of big banks.