Late Sunday afternoon, the well-heeled residents of Chevy Chase, Maryland, a bucolic suburb northwest of Washington, DC, witnessed a commotion rare for their neighborhood. Toting signs and megaphones, fired up and chanting at the top of their lungs, some 700 demonstrators from around the nation paid a visit to two residents who work as powerful lobbyists for the United States’ biggest banks: Gregory Baer, a deputy counsel for Bank of America, and Peter Scher, a high-ranking executive and lobbyist for JPMorgan Chase.
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Bussed into Washington by the Service International Employees Union (SEIU) and National People’s Action (NPA), a community organzing network, the protesters visited Baer’s and Scher’s homes as part of a multi-day stand in Washington. On Monday, SEIU and NPA will lead a series of protests on K Street in Washington—a street synonymous with influence and lobbying. The groups are pushing for strong new financial reforms (as teh Senate continues debating legislation to bolster the rules governing Wall Street) and urging banks to stop foreclosures and to promote job creation.
But before Main Street arrives on K Street, a fleet of yellow school buses and motor coaches delivered the demonstrators, clad in red, blue, and purple t-shirts, to a park in Chevy Chase near the home of Bank of America’s Baer. After a quick briefing, the throngs of protesters, hailing from Chicago, San Francisco, Staten Island, and other locales, gathered on Baer’s front lawn and marched to his front door. Members of NPA delivered a letter to a family member who opened the door. Baer, this family member said, wasn’t home. The letter, addressed to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, asks Moynihan to meet with groups “to address the critical problems facing our neighborhoods and our country—problems that were caused in part by Bank of America and that continue to fester due to Bank of America’s inaction.”
Undeterred by Baer’s absence, the boisterous group chanted—”Bank of America, Bad for America,” “Take It Back,” “Fired Up, Can’t Take It No More”—and, via megaphone, blasted Bank of America for foreclosing on homeowners and lobbying against financial reform. One woman who took the mic explained how she’d called Bank of America dozens of times to fight off foreclosure but hadn’t had any success with the bank’s unresponsive and unhelpful employees. People in the crowd booed references to the bank. Many hoisted signs that read, “People First Economy””and “Hold Wall Street Accountable.”
Here’s a two minute video of the action on Baer’s front lawn:
You can find several more videos here at the “Showdown In America” website.
And that’s certainly not all:
Several hundred protesters also gathered outside the law firm Nixon-Peabody today, accusing the firm of lobbying in favor of large developers to the disadvantage of low-income families and seniors. Protestors also converged at the offices of Tony Podesta, one of the country’s top political fundraisers. The Podesta Group lobbies for bank clients including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Sallie Mae and BP. Tony Podesta is also the brother of John Podesta, head of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress.
In some cases, the thugs literally took over K-Street bank lobbies.
Of course, this is by no means the first time we’ve witnessed left wing union thuggery, and it certainly won’t be the last. After all, Obama did encourage his supporters to “get in the faces” of those who disagree with them during the 2008 campaign. And indeed, they have done just that.
Now, just imagine for five seconds the spin we’d get on this story from the mainstream media if these were “Teabaggers” seizing control of bank lobbies and the front yards of private citizens …