Saturday, October 22, 2011

Occupy Detroit Takes Fight to Bank of America

October 22, 2011

Occupy Detroit takes fight to Bank of America

The Detroit News

Detroit — The Occupy Detroit movement took its demands for job creation and a halt to home foreclosures into the heart of downtown Detroit on Friday with a protest outside the Guardian Building.

About 600 marchers, chanting and carrying signs, marched at noon from Grand Circus Park to demonstrate at the Bank of America branch.

Abayomi Azikiwe, 54, of Detroit, shouted instructions to the demonstrators through a megaphone as they marched down Woodward Avenue.

"This is a democracy, so we're trying to get the government's attention," he said. "We're solving their problems for them."

The grassroots group, inspired by a protest that began last month on Wall Street, began its occupation of Detroit on Oct. 14 by setting up camp in Grand Circus Park, where a few dozen activists have remained.

The crowd was escorted down Woodward by police officers on horses and Segway scooters. The protesters chanted, "How do we end this deficit? Stop the war, tax the rich" and "From New York to L.A., occupy the USA."

At the Guardian Building, Bank of America employees and security guards prevented marchers from entering.

"The well-being of customers and employees is our No. 1 concern, and numerous steps have been taken to ensure their safety," Diane Wagner, a bank spokeswoman, said in a statement. "Individuals and groups are able to assemble on public property; we only intervene if their actions are impeding customers from doing business, or if they are creating an unsafe situation."

No incidents or arrests were reported, and the protesters moved on about 1 p.m.

Mike Warminski, 49, of Warren, who works downtown, took pictures of the marchers. "I didn't know it was going to be here," he said. "I think it's a good thing. I'm working and grateful, but there is too much greed."

(313) 222-2019

Occupy Detroit protest Bank of America over foreclosures

Posted: 10/21/2011
By: Val Clark

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Over five hundred protesters took part in a noisy but peaceful demonstration Friday organized by Occupy Detroit.

It was the latest in a series of demonstrations held in downtown Detroit and linked to similar protests on Wall Street.

The target was the Bank of America branch located in the Guardian Building. For one hour they was marched and chanted.

"Hey, hey, hey B-O-A, how many houses have you taken today" was one slogan denouncing foreclosures.

Dozens of UAW members joined the ranks.

Maida Rosenstein said "our people are losing their jobs and their homes and can't send their kids to college. And workers who are not unionized are even worse off."

The demonstration was a curiosity for out of town visitors, drivers and people on their lunch break. Organizers encouraged them to get involved even if they don't march.

"Stop giving banks your business like many of us have," said Ross Harris. He suggests withdrawing money from the banks and joining a credit union.

A small number of the protesters are in it for the long haul so they are also occupying space at Grand Circus Park. Their make-shift tent city has become a refuge for many of Detroit's homeless and that's just fine with organizers like Jessica Doll.

"They were occupying this park before we came," she says. "We're happy to give them food, shelter and medical care. They are part of the ninety-nine percent of us. We are all a part of this community."

Read more:

No comments: