Local residents rallied at the Bank of America on Saturday, December 10 pushing for changes to reign in corporate greed and address growing inequality in both Somerville and the United States. The rally was a kickoff event for Occupy Somerville.
About 100 people came out to show their support for fundamental changes to our economic and political systems for a society that prioritizes the needs of all before the profits of the few. Occupy Somerville is inspired by the larger occupy movement that originated in New York. The group is comprised of diverse range of local residents including students from nearby Tufts University.
Challenging inequality and corporate greed at the community level helps build the movement for a better local economy and more jobs.
Occupy Somerville is encouraging Somerville residents to join a national divestment campaign targeting Bank of America and other major financial institutions because of the havoc they have wreaked on our economy and the lives of countless Americans. After some short speeches in Statue Park, rally participants marched over to the Bank of America branch on Highland Avenue. Five account holders went inside the bank to withdraw their money and close their accounts.
“We want to focus attention on the $11 trillion in bailout funds given to the banks and their stranglehold on American life and politics,” said Matt McLaughlin, a leader of Save Our Somerville and one of the Occupy organizers. “Business wants the same freedoms as individuals, but they don’t pay taxes like individuals. When they make a mistake, they put the burden on the taxpayer. But if we slip up once, they raise their rates, charge penalty fees and take our homes. Bottom line: banks got bailed out, we got sold out.”
“We can march until our feet fall off, but the best way to show executives at Bank of America is to take our money elsewhere,” said Rae Axner, a Tufts University student and Somerville resident. “Until we hurt them financially, they will continue to ignore customers’ needs and rake in super-profits at our expense.”
The rally featured Somerville’s Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band.
Based on feedback from participants, organizers are planning to hold Somerville’s first “General Assembly” meeting on Wednesday, December 14 in Statue park at 7:00 PM.
For more information about Occupy Somerville, email: email@example.com