“He has a right to speak”, said the cop to the banker
By Marvin Borg
Want to protest the banks? This is the way to do it right, get your point across, and not end up in jail for your trouble.
Like most bullies, the banks are cowards. They talk a big game, but if confronted with their crimes, they run for cover and go whining to mommy.
Today, I walked up and down a sidewalk in Daley City, California, in front of a branch of Chase and a branch of Bank of America. I handed out about 250 flyers during lunch hour.
They panicked and called their private security people, then more private security and finally the cops. That’s when they found out that they didn’t have a leg to stand on.
The flyer says:
Move Your Money – This bank is run by crooks
They crashed the world economy and blamed it on the poor
They take your deposits and use them to buy politicians, to de-regulate and give them immunity, interest-free loans and bailouts
Then they turn around and charge you fees to make them even richer
November 5th is Move Your Money Day
Take your money to a credit union or community bank that will use your money in the community and not to pervert the rule of law and fill their own pockets
At around noon, I put on my best suit, white shirt and tie. I went and stood outside Chase during rush-hour and handed out flyers.
“Good afternoon Sir/Ma’am – The big banks are run by CROOKS, they played casino with your money and crashed the economy. Your money is not safe with them,” and handed them a flyer. Big smile, totally non-threatening, not blocking the sidewalk, kept walking the entire time.
Outside the bank was an armed private security guard. His name is George. I know this because I first introduced myself, gave him a flyer and told him I would cause him any trouble. George is one of the 99% and he had no beef in the banks game.
Within a few minutes, both banks stationed an employee just inside the door to prevent me from entering. They also called mall security to come and shoo me away. Inside the branches, employees were running around like headless chickens terrified of a single guy, in a suit, politely handing out flyers.
The first “senior” security guy arrives, George’s boss. Now there’s two.
Sec2: “Are you the one handing out flyers?”
MB: “Yes Sir, would you like one?”
Sec2: “You can’t do that here!”
MB: “Is that so Sir, why not?”
Sec2: “This is private property!”
MB: “The sidewalk is private property? It looks to me like it is open to the public. I’m the public and I’m not blocking or bothering anyone. As you can see, I am being polite and respectful, just handing out flyers. Excuse me [person was walking by] Hi Ma’am, this bank is run by crooks – [hand out a flyer]”
Sec2: “Well I did my job and warned you.”
MB: “Well thank you for the warning. I will not cause you any trouble, Sir, but I will not stop handing out flyers.”
Ten minutes later. Another security guy arrives, with backup. Now there’s four.
Sec3 to Sec2: “Where is he?”
MB: “I’m right here!!”
Sec3: “You need to leave”
MB: “Why is that, Sir? Would you like a flyer?”
Sec3: “You can’t do that here.”
MB: “On the contrary, Sir, I have every right to be here and every right to hand out flyers, respectfully. I will not cause you any trouble.”
Sec3: “We’ll see about that [grabs a flyer], we’ll see about that.”
MB: “Have a great afternoon, Sir.”
FIve minutes later, a huge guy arrives, goes to talk to the branch manager. Now there’s five. The BofA manager (spiffy suit!) walks out with him from the branch.
BofABoss: “What, are you working for the credit union?”
MB [my best line of the day]: “No Sir, they work for me, unlike your bank that works for investors and shareholders.”
BofABoss: “Get a job!”
MB: “I have a job. I run a company. I created 17 jobs in the last 5 years, while you were blowing up the economy. How many jobs did you destroy?”
BofABoss: “Well, go do your job then.”
MB: “Right now, my job is telling your customers that your bank is run by crooks.”
BofABoss: “We’ll see about that.”