"Banks got bailed out! We got sold out!"
Rain couldn't keep 200 people from marching through the streets of downtown Portland this morning for National Bank Transfer Day, stopping at three big banks to slap "Citizens Arrest" flyers to their windows. About 30 police on bikes and horses flanked the protest, enforcing traffic laws (down with jaywalking!) but there were no conflicts or arrests. The relationship between the police and the protesters may be colored by Occupy's meeting last night with Chief Mike Reese.
Anyway, the march ended sweetly at Northwest Federal Credit Union, in Old Town, which greeted the crowd with free coffee and Sesame Donuts. "Do we buy local? Do we eat local? Then why aren't we banking local?!" extolled Working Families Party director Steve Hughes.
Unlike Occupy Portland's zombie attack on Bank of America last week, which led to one arrest for vandalism for sticking up a flyer with goopy red corn syrup, the police seemed to have no issue with the citizens arrest flyers, which protesters of all ages adhered to Wells Fargo, Chase Bank, and US Bank windows with rain water.
As reported yesterday, 10,500 Oregonians have switched to credit unions since Bank of America instituted its debit card fee on September 29th (here's Q&As with five).
Portland State University grad student Dana Brandon brought along her three-year-old and five-year-old for the march. "I wanted my kids to be part of a movement, I think it's important for them to be part of what's going on," says Brandon, who switched her family to On Point credit union after being with Bank of America since she was 18. "Sometimes you think they're too little, but they love it. They've asked questions about why there's so many police, it's an opportunity to have that discussion."
Jaime Putzier, 25, was at the march registering voters. "In our day and age, apathy is our biggest problem," said Putzier. "It's older, conservative, white men who turn out to vote."