A small group of enthusiastic activists demonstrated on Friday, May 13, in response to a national call at Chase Bank locations, in advance of their May 16 shareholder meeting. We were only 10 people in Port Townsend, but the big art made an impact. We spread out at the intersection of Kearney and Sims Way, as well as flanking the main entrance to the Chase Bank parking lot.
One brave protestor made a point of speaking to customers pulling into the Chase driveway and crossing the sidewalk occasionally, which upset the bankers. They called the police on us, but we weren’t breaking any laws — suffice it to say we got the bank’s attention.
We invited the bankers outside to check out the posters that we had mounted from the StoptheMoneyPipeline coalition, each created by a different artist who has been affected by climate change. One banker came out to look at the art and talk for a bit. The rest of the staff seemed pretty angry with us, staring out of the windows.
Before we left, we decided to try to bring a few of the posters into the lobby and invite any customers and staff to check out the art and sign a letter of concern to Chase’s executive officers. We were mindful that we wouldn’t be breaking any laws until someone asked us to leave. We didn’t get that into the lobby though, as the staff locked the front door as we approached. I guess the truth is pretty scary!
The action felt both effective and fun, so we agreed to meet at the same time next week, same bank: Friday, 11 am to 1 pm. People were excited to meet every Friday. We may shift energy at some point to Wells Fargo, as they are planning on re-opening their Port Townsend location during the summer (and are the #1 funder of the US fracking industry).
Please share the announcement with other folks & invite them to join us. We would love additional volunteers, especially to a) take photos b) help with outreach c) hold signs with us! — danielle fodor