On Friday, I participated in a small, chaotic, but exciting action at three of the big banks on Austin’s Drag (the area opposite the University of Texas at Austin campus). It was inspired by Chase Bank’s $4 billion dollar trading loss, which CEO Jamie Dimon said was “just a mistake.” We decided to visit some Chase Banks and sing about what that money could buy:
My seat faced away from the door, but I could see in reflection as the protesters arrived. I watched the faces of the staff grow nervous, maybe a little guilty or embarrassed. Would we notice? The next thing I noticed, however, was that the front windows of the bank were completely soundproof. We were supposed to wait to hear a mic check, then jump up and join in song. A member of Bank Action thought fast — he got up and began asking loud questions like “Hey, did you guys hear about the $4 billion dollar loss?”
The rally was made of a coalition of protesters from Occupy Austin, MoveOn, and even visitors from the Libertarian bookstore, Brave New Books, which neighbors the first Chase Bank. It’s a great example of how we can work together — without co-opting each other — for our shared goals. It was also just a hoot to sing off key, despite my hesitations about my singing voice at the start of the action. We all sounded equally terrible.
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