Critics of Occupy Wall Street claimed the protest lacked focus, and Occupy Wall Street has responded, reports The Street. Members of the 99 percent have organized an event via Facebook called “Bank Transfer Day,” where customers of banking monoliths are being encouraged to withdraw all funds, close their accounts and move to smaller banks and credit unions.
Remember the 5th of November
From now until the official Bank Transfer Day on Saturday, Nov. 5, America’s 99 percent will have the chance to show the banking establishment that Occupy Wall Street is prepared to take purposeful action. Protesters are sounding off against increased bank fees, such as Bank of America’s recently announced $5 monthly fee on debit cards.
Nov. 5 was chosen because it coincides with Guy Fawkes Day, a British anti-authoritarian holiday that was popularized in the U.S. by the feature film “V for Vendetta.”
Gross profits, wanting more
Despite increased oversight of the banking community by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and legislation like the Durbin Amendment, Occupy Wall Street points out that banks will still be generating gross profits off the backs of consumers who can ill afford financial gouging. To put Bank of America’s numbers into perspective, without the $5 monthly debit card fee per customer, the institution would turn an estimated $3.3 billion in annual profit off its 59 million customers’ debit card transactions.
Bank Transfer Day is the 99 percent’s way of saying that enough is enough. From the event’s Facebook page:
“Together we can ensure that these banking institutions will always remember the 5th of November!! If the 99 percent removes our funds from the major banking institutions on or by this date, we will send a clear message and give the 1 percent a taste of the fear that we experience every day when we aren’t able to pay for our rent, food, medication, utilities, student loans, etc.”
How to join Bank Transfer Day action
There are three steps involved if one chooses to participate in Occupy Wall Street’s Bank Transfer Day:
- Start a credit union account (visit www.findacreditunion.com for more info.
- Transfer bank funds to the credit union by Nov. 5.
- Follow your bank’s procedures to close your old account. Also, don’t forget to move Direct Deposit and automatic bill pays to your new credit union account.
As of Oct. 12, more than 6,500 people have indicated via Facebook that they will participate in Bank Transfer Day. Event organizers admit that for the banking establishment to notice, there must be many more. As Firedoglake’s La Figa blog notes, consumers speaking with their dollars will have a more lasting effect that any denial of service attacks against the New York Stock Exchange by protest groups like Anonymous.
Mitt Romney on the 99 percent