Saturday, October 01, 2011

Thousands Protest Outside Bank of America in Boston

Hub police arrest 24 in protest vs. B of A

By John Zaremba
Saturday, October 1, 2011 |

Two dozen trespassing protesters were happily hauled off from Bank of America’s downtown offices last night in a gesture of civil disobedience against what they say are the leading lender’s unfair foreclosure practices.

“They wanted to be arrested, and we obliged,” Boston police Commissioner Edward F. Davis told the Herald last night as he stood on the outskirts of Dewey Square, observing hundreds gathered in a rush-hour protest. The crowd grew to an estimated 3,000 by nightfall.

None of those arrested at Bank of America resisted, Davis said. “No trouble at all. It’s a great group.”

The rogue’s gallery of 15 women and nine men did spend several hours in booking and lockup in South Boston, but a law-enforcement source said they’re unlikely to face serious trouble.

Carolyn Grant, one of those arrested, told the Herald in a telephone interview the arrest was worth the trouble.

“We had to set a stand to let Bank of America know they cannot foreclose on families and put them out on the street,” Grant of Roxbury said as her cohorts in the holding unit cheered in the background.

Bank of America spokesman T.J. Crawford dismissed last night’s trespass and protest as a public-relations ploy.

“These individuals choose to ignore the facts and instead focus on increasingly aggressive PR stunts,” Crawford said. “Bank of America has a lot to be proud of in Massachusetts, from modifying 18,000 mortgages since 2008, to lending nearly $400 million to small businesses that are fueling the local economy in the first half of 2011.”

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