Heated protests at the JPMorgan Chase shareholders meeting in Columbus, Ohio provoked a large response from local law enforcement and security.
At least one person was handcuffed after a group of about 400 protestors marched up Chase’s property and placed a sign on a raft floating in a pond in the bank’s premises. The sign read: “Foreclosed: Chase sinks our economy.”
Police had each entrance blocked ahead of the meeting, as protesters gathered in the rain and cold chanting slogans such as “Make Banks Pay” and carried signs that said: “Chase gets rich, we lose homes, jobs, services.” At least 20 police cruisers circled the building.
Inside, several shareholders spoke out against the bank’s handling of mortgage foreclosures.
“As a person of faith, my God believes you shouldn’t take advantage of people when they are down,” said Dawn Dannenbring of the community group Illinois People’s Action, addressing CEO Jamie Dimon. “Do you believe in the same God I believe in?”
Dimon answered: “That’s a hard one to answer.”
This is yet another of the mass demonstrations organized by The New Bottom Line, one of several ad hoc coalitions protesting the financial sector and the ongoing foreclosure crisis. Hundreds protested two weeks ago at the Wells Fargo shareholders meeting, and on May 12 thousands occupied Lower Manhattan with a rally.
In the video above, you will see protesters in Columbus crossing the protective moat around the Chase building and making their way into the meeting. I’m going to write some of that again. There is an actual moat around the Chase building in Columbus. Appropriate, no?
Videos and photos of the protest are available at the Showdown in America site. This kind of direct activism is useful in conjunction with the renewed investigations we’ve seen today. Those who are trying to knock down Eric Schneiderman and cover for the banks should talk to the people in this video and the hardships they’ve suffered.