Snoqualmie Valley residents protest Bank of America policies
May 17, 2012
By Sebastian Moraga
This time it was personal for Luz Krieger.
With her son’s home risking foreclosure, she said she felt a responsibility to take herself to the street, sign in hand, and protest the corporate policies that hurt her child.
“He’s gotten the runaround, he’s gotten a lot of harassment,” she said, later adding, “They just don’t want to work with him.”
Her son’s mortgage was with Wells Fargo, but there Krieger stood, outside the North Bend branch of Bank of America with other supporters of MoveOn.org.
The difference did not seem to bother Krieger, a resident of Duvall. The two banks’ policies, she said, look a lot alike, and Bank of America’s have hurt a lot of people, too.
“I decided it was time to let people know what’s happening to other people and try to affect some change,” Krieger said.
The protest (“demonstration,” Bonnie Lawlor, an organizer of the event, corrected), occurred as a show of solidarity with those demonstrating in North Carolina, site of Bank of America’s shareholders’ meeting May 9.
Hundreds of people protested in Charlotte. On Bendigo Boulevard in North Bend, about 10 showed up. Still, they said, the support was palpable.
Drivers honked their horns or waved. Demonstrator Christopher Chapman, from Snoqualmie, said reaction to the demonstration was positive. No middle fingers or downturned thumbs.
“Nothing hostile,” he said. “Normally there’s more hostility.”
That shows, Lawlor said, that people feel the way the demonstrators feel: like banks and other corporations have not played fair with the American public.
Demonstrator Nance Myhre, of Fall City, agreed.
“That means the 99 percent concept is real,” she said.
Chapman said the demonstrators hoped to engineer more interest in the cause, so that more demonstrations happen in small towns and not just in big cities.
Lawlor said some bigger fish need frying, too.
“The attempt is to hold Bank of America accountable for many corporate abuses it’s perpetrating,” Lawlor said. “They haven’t paid their taxes for several years, they are raking huge amounts of money and they are responsible for more foreclosures than any other bank in the country.”
Bank of America and other corporations, Lawlor said, have shown they do not care.
“I can’t grasp how they cannot care,” she said, “and not do whatever they have the power to do to make things better.”
Krieger said plenty of sin is there to go around. The Obama administration has reacted slowly to corporate predators, she said.
“There’s something deeply immoral about these corporations that caused the meltdown in the first place and then being given bailout money twice,” she said. “Then they turn around, give their CEOs millions of dollars in bonuses, and then they put people on the street. Something is wrong with that.”
Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext. 221, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.