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Peninsula | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism

Take That, BofA!
by Ruth Stevens
Thursday Apr 14th, 2011 4:31 PM
Today begins a long weekend of actions nationwide against corporations that do not pay their fair share in taxes. In San Mateo, California, protesters brought their beef to the front door of Bank of America. Ironically, the San Mateo branch is named in honor of a man who did good deeds. In 1904, A. P. Giannini, a resident of San Mateo, founded the Bank of Italy. It was a bank for the working man rather than the wealthy, proudly offering saving accounts and loans to immigrants that other banks refused to do business with. His business grew, and the Bank of Italy became the Bank of America with branch offices all over California and across the country.

Top Photo: Satirical troupe of "Billionaires" stand in front of Bank of America mural dedicated to a founder. The mural says "The Little Fellow's Bank". The Billionaires delighted in the irony as they demonstrated how it is the wealthy who love BofA today.

The downtown San Mateo Bank of America branch is called the A.P. Giannini branch in his honor. Today protesters demanding that B of A pay its fair share of taxes asked, "What would A.P. Giannini think of his bank today?"

Demonstrators stood in front of the bank on El Camino and lined 3rd Ave and across the street.  Due to construction on El Camino, they had a captive audience...cars were stalled in traffic in front of the line of protesters for minutes at a time, affording the demonstrators the opportunity to hand out fliers.

"Billionaires for Big Banks" (also known as Billionaires for Wealthcare) posed in front of the bank's tiled mural. The mural says "Bank of the Little Fellow", and indeed the original Bank of Italy that became Bank of America was known as such. In 1904, A. P. Giannini, a resident of San Mateo, founded his bank as a financial institution for the working man rather than the wealthy. He proudly offered saving accounts and loans to immigrants that other banks refused to do business with.

Participating in today's action were members of the Raging Grannies, San Mateo Peace Action, the Coffee Party, and Common Cause. The protest was spearheaded by Take Back Democracy of San Mateo. Nearly 50 people turned out for this Day-Before-Tax-Day event.
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by Take Back Democracy Thursday Apr 14th, 2011 4:32 PM