LANCASTER – Residents walking or driving by any of the big banks on The Blvd Saturday morning were greeted by a group of Occupy Antelope Valley demonstrators who waved signs, passed out information, and commanded residents to close their bank accounts and open them at credit unions, instead.
“You are being abused by corporate greed!” Angel Warner told passing motorists. “Get rid of the corporate greed and corruption and put America back into the people’s hands that built this great country! Put it back into the 99 percent, the people that work hard everyday that built this country and make the money for these greedy so and so’s!”
Some drivers honked their horns while others pumped their fists in support of the group.
“This is a brave group,” said one man walking by who gave the group a “thumbs up” sign.
Demonstrators marched the length of The BLVD on both sides, stopping for about 5-10 minutes at each of the big banks (Chase, Union Bank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America) to shout their message. They passed out fliers to bank customers as they exited.
“LOCK IT UP! LOCK IT UP!” the group chanted.
The demonstration was the second one for Occupy Antelope Valley, which held its first march last week. Read the story here. Occupy AV facilitators say Saturday’s march was part of a national call to encourage people to transfer their money out of the big banks and into credit unions and community banks.
“A lot of the credit unions are national credit unions, but the difference is that credit unions are owned and controlled by their members and they’re not for profit as opposed to the big banks,” said Occupy AV facilitator Devin Letzer. “You have more say over how your money is used, it’s cheaper for you, usually it will pay better rates, and they don’t have nearly as high fees. So that’s the main message of moving your money.”
According to the Credit Union National Association, 650,000 Americans joined credit unions last month — more than in all of 2010 combined. Letzer says this proves that the “Move Your Money” movement is catching on, and said that Occupy AV was leading the local movement by example.
Immediately following the march, the group headed over to the American Heroes Park on Elm and Kettering, where the group plans to begin an ongoing occupation.
Initially, Occupy AV plans to have a presence in the park daily during the park’s hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Each night there will be a General Assembly at 7 p.m., open to everyone, which will determine when and if Occupy AV will attempt to hold the space beyond those hours.
The occupation will continue, indefinitely, in solidarity with the other occupations all over the world. For more information on this movement, visit the group’s face book page.
The AV Times will be following this story and will bring you more updates on the ongoing occupation in future news stories.