Occupy Providence protesters campaign to close bank accounts

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Protesters marching downtown Providence carrying signs and chanting slogans in support of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Photo - Steven Senne/AP Photo

Several protestors of the ‘Occupy Providence’ movement closed their accounts with Bank of America as part of their protest against a new fees announced by the bank. Trish Phelan, an Occupy Providence protester who closed her account, said the hike is part of corporate greed. Though the movement has no formal leadership, Phelan has been organising the account cancellations through a working-group structure.

Occupy Providence is organised around working groups, informal committees that manage various aspects of the movement such as media relations, logistics and direct action.

The cancellations occurred in three waves and about 20 to 25 people showed up to support the cancellations.

At the bank’s Fulton Street entrance, doors were closed due to protest. At the Westminster Street, police were positioned to stop the protestors outside and permitting only genuine customers enter the bank. Protesters outside the bank distributed fliers and made video footages of the demo.

Phelan said several people have expressed interest in closing their accounts with Bank of America and other large corporate banks. She said the group will organise further bank account closings and hope more people will switch to local banks and credit unions over the next month. Several former customers said they planned to turn to local credit unions and banks, including Bank of Newport and Pawtucket Credit Union.

Nov. 5 is Bank Transfer Day, an event part of the ‘Occupy’ protest. The event urges participants to switch over from major financial institutions to non-profit credit unions.

Sources: Brown Daily Herald

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