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Occupy Buffalo’s F29: ALEC Protest at Bank of America

2/29/12- Occupy Buffalo assembled in Niagara Square to participate in F29 in solidarity with 80 other cities nationwide. F29 targeted corporations that are members of ALEC, that is the American Legislative Exchange (for Cash) Council. Here in Buffalo, NY we protested ALEC member Bank of America.

We began our march with banners and signs in hand. We began chanting “Bank of America is not for America!” As we made it up to Main St., which is the heart of Buffalo’s financial district, a SUV marked “Dept. of Homeland Security Protective Services K-9 Unit” pulled up onto the sidewalk and beat us to the main Bank of America branch. We continued our chant and distributed literature to the people on Main St. while walking down to the branch. A second DHS vehicle pulled up all before we even made it to the bank.

We arrived at a closed branch and the building was on a lock down. There were armed guards and even some DHS inside the bank. DHS was also outside the bank monitoring us. We began to Soap Box. Individuals talked about how Bank of America should not be able to write legislation and pass it to legislators with ALEC. Others talked about how Bank of America had $4.4 billion in income, had received $45 billion in bailout funds, and did not pay taxes last year. Still others discussed the home foreclosure & robo-signing scandal.

One occupier walked up to a DHS officer and asked him: “Excuse me, Officer, who sent you out here today?” (Watch the transaction at 11:09 in the video.) The DHS officer responded: “We are here to protect the people in the building…” Another occupier asked him: “If we call you to protect people who are being foreclosed on would you come out for them?” The DHS officer shrugged and said “we are here right now for the people in the building” as he walked away.

What does all of this mean? If you haven’t already read Kevin’s article consider it required reading…

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