Hundreds of Demonstrators Converge on Bank of America; 24 Arrested

Posted by Noelle Swan

A stoic-looking woman with dark sunglasses and cornrows pulled back into a high ponytail sat silently on the edge of the Boston Common bandstand, leaning on a cane and holding up a printout that read, “Joseph and Amaline Maxi: Approved for a new mortgage to stay in our home with our two kids—Instead we were evicted.”

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered on Boston Common Friday to protest the home foreclosure crisis that has engulfed thousands of Americans like the Maxis’. March organizer, Take Back the City Alliance, represents some 30 area grassroots organizations including City Life Vida Urbana, Chinese Progressive Association, several local unions, and Boston Workers Alliance.

Participants from all walks of life listened to impassioned speeches translated into Chinese and Spanish calling for additional taxes for the wealthy and a 25 percent cut in defense spending before beginning their march past glittering symbols of American wealth—the Ritz Carlton luxury residences, the Hyatt Regency, Fidelity Investments, and Verizon Wireless—en route to their destination, Bank of America, the nation’s largest bank.

Daryl Wright of Dorchester said he is “disgusted with the current political dialogue, which doesn’t seem to be about people.” He expressed hope that marches like this might help “bring people to the forefront.”

It’s people like Joseph and Amaline Maxi that demonstrators hoped to draw attention to.

“We won’t accept being kicked out of our homes…crumbling schools…and corporations not hiring,” said Karen Kraut of Brookline. She brought her six-year-old son, Oakes Adkins, to the march to teach him about important issues. When asked what he thought about the demonstration, Adkins responded with his own question: “Does anybody here like the banks?”

Rally participants filled plazas at both of the Bank of America entrances. The crowd throbbed in anger, chanting, “Bank of America, bad for America,” and “Banks got bailed out, people got sold out.”

Several attendees attempted to stage a sit-in in the lobby of the building. Police ordered them to remain outside the building. Those that refused were arrested for blocking the entrance. A spokesperson for the Boston Police Department said 24 people were arrested.

The majority of participants were cooperative with one another, march organizers and the BPD.

Boston police motorcade preceded the procession, blocking off streets and monitoring the crowd. Volunteer protest marshals wearing reflective orange and yellow vests flanked the marchers directing participants and guiding them away from the sidewalks. Police declined to estimate size of the crowd, but one march organizer indicated that numbers neared 1000 participants.

Area workers paused from their afternoon activities and lined the streets to watch the procession. Tourists gawked. One downtown crossing street vendor started dancing to the marchers’ chants.

“Black, brown, yellow, white, same struggle, same fight.” The marchers’ chant called attention to the ethnic diversity found amongst participants. Attendees came from all over Boston, but also from Lynn, Chelsea, Brookline, Springfield, and other areas of New England.

A young man named Derek, travelled from Providence to help “create space and pressure to make changes.” He added, “More actions like this need to happen.”

More actions like this are happening in various parts of the country. Protesters have occupied Zuccotti Park near Wall Street in New York City for two weeks. A similar occupation of Boston began in Dewey Square immediately following this rally with similar focus. Some protesters participated in both events, including Rude Mechanical Orchestra.


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  5. Wall Street Protests Come to Boston Common

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Posted by Noelle Swan on Oct 3 2011. Filed under Featured - For home page featured article, General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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