March 10, 2011

ACTIVISM: WI firefighters Union action v. M & I bank.

I have been following the actions in WI.
An interesting thing has developed. M&I bank was a major contributor
to Governor Walker.
This bank has been on boycott Walker lists for weeks. Somehow in the
last day and a half this thing got legs.
People started telling other people to pull their money out of M&I and
to protest the banks over their donations to Walker.
A tweet came across last night about 10pm for people to show up at M&I
tomorrow morning (this morning) and withdraw their money.
The firefighters union was there at 9am at the downtown Madison branch
and took out their $180,000. Lots of people followed suit and there
was a large crowd with signs out front most of the morning from what
accounts I saw.
Word is now from multiple sources that M&I in Madison closed for the day.

They were doing this for reasons other than UnCut's specific purpose
but this is just awesome to see. People being fed up with something
and taking action.
It didn't take that many people to do this and it was concentrated in
Madison at least as far as a big crowd. No reports yet how many people
went into other branches
in the region to close accounts.

Banks and big businesses try to poo poo boycotts and protests and a
few disgruntled people and that they don't matter. But they do and it
doesn't take huge numbers to do it.
Companies being hit with WI boycotts are in a panic, issuing press
releases and trying to deny culpability for their political donations.
Companies don't do that unless they are in fear.
These are WI companies that have national exposure but this is only
from people aware of the WI goings on. Again, not the total
demographic of the US jumping on it.

Koch Industries has been in damage control mode for weeks as boycotts
of their consumer products made rounds and started to be hinted at in
mainstream media. If a company that big is in fear of grassroots
boycotts they do matter. Last week Georgia Pacific products were on
sale just about everywhere I looked.

So what does this have to do with Uncut? Look at the big change a few
people made. Small groups of angry people made companies react.

I think the in masse closing of accounts at B of A could be a great
tactic if there is a way to get enough current customers on board to
do it.

Nancy in SD

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