BofA Day: Protesters mark shareholders meeting

In Charlotte, North Carolina, five people have already been arrested at the Bank of America shareholders meeting today. In Charlottesville, members of a group called Blue Ridge Council for Conscious Action gather outside Bank of America on the Downtown Mall in solidarity with the NC protest, while a security guard keeps an eye on the dozen or so sign-carrying citizens.

"We will not go inside the bank," says organizer Freeman Allan at the May 9 event. "We will not block traffic. We just want to talk."

Allan says this is the "backwash of the 99 percent." His group is concerned with the "megabanks" that led to massive foreclosures and the ensuing federal bailout.

"We're an up-welling," says Allan, describing the group as nonpartisan, nonviolent, and nonconfrontational. "It's critical," he says, "to engage in peaceful dialogue with the megabanks."

Update: One of the prominent signs in the protest carries a quotation attributed to Thomas Jefferson but which does not appear in any of the writings of the Sage of Monticello, according to Monticello officials, who have already listed the apocryphal statement, that banks will make "children wake up homeless," on its list of "spurious quotations."

However, Monticello confirms that Jefferson did say something equally provocative. He wrote, "[B]anking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."

"Thanks for catching our gaffe," says Allan, who debriefed the member who made the sign and found that she had misread the Monticello site and missed the fact that the quotation was spurious. But, noting the part about "swindling futurity," Allan notes that the spirit of the quotation was correct.

–story updated at 6:48pm Wednesday and 9:18pm Thursday


The quote from Jefferson is a fake--see

We must abandon the “love it or leave it” attitude, where the general public has rolled over for Corporate America and accepted it’s our job to pay their way. Year after year these companies report record profits so why aren’t they paying record taxes? These companies have the power to not only save our economy but to close the income gap by paying employees more but instead they gut the Middle Class for all their worth. Every single protester is a hero in my book and I even helped create some free posters for the cause which you can download from my artist’s blog at

I find it sad that people will cry a river about 5 bucks a month for an ATM card that will get them cash anywhere in the world 24 hours a day 7 days a week. That is one friggin cup of coffee.

The banks loaned money to people too stupid to know their own limitations and a lot of people got burned. It doesn't take a genius to know that when you LIE on a loan to get around the qualification rules you are LYING.

I hate big banks not because of their fees, but because of their lack of personal service.

Support local banks and abandon them as soon as they sell out.

Rango, I tried to support a local bank. Went there to open an account and it took 2 hours? Why is that? Then I was told the funds I depositied in that account wouldn't be available for THIRTY DAYS? Closed that account, will stick with my "big bank", thank you.

I'm happy to see these protesters out. We can no longer go on with business as usual. These banks are bankrupting the country. The official bailout was peanuts compared to the 16 TRILLION the Federal Reserve gave out behind our backs and the only reason we know about that is because of the one-time audit that was ordered by congress!(That is more than our entire deficit and none of it has been paid back yet. Probably never will be. It went to banks and corporations all over the world)B of A got over a trillion of that money. B of A has also paid $0 in federal taxes in 2009 and 2010, and received almost $1 billion back from taxpayers. These Fortune 500 corporations are paying no taxes anymore!(Don't believe me? Google it!)And all this while the FED blows bubbles for them. The Federal Reserve is a private corporation! Wake up everyone. What we have is corporatocracy.Get educated, take some responsibility as citizens for what we have here. It's not enough to vote when the whole system is rotten to the core. Don't get caught up in partisan nonsense, that's just a distraction for us to lose sight of what's really going on. And just because it's gone on as long as it has, it can't continue much longer like this. Charlottesville! The FED is a central bank, but since Americans were distrustful of central banks, they had to call is something else. But our central bank is the least transparent, compared to other "modern" countries. Conflicts of interest abound, interest goes to private shareholders, and rules are rewritten retroactively. And for all this, we're charged. It's a scam.

Bank you very much!