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Published:March 8th, 2010 12:26 EST
Media Release: Financial Crisis Spurs Widespread Political Protest

Media Release: Financial Crisis Spurs Widespread Political Protest

By Garrett Godwin

Ordinary Americans are Frustrated with Failure to Crackdown on Banks

WASHINGTON, D.C: Across the country, everyday Americans are standing up to big banks like Bank of America that continue to continue to frustrate families. They have seen their communities devastated by predatory lending and job losses. Meanwhile, predatory practices like the risky and reckless subprime loans that ignited the foreclosure crisis are still legal. The spark that started with The Showdown in Chicago - a three-day protest against the American Bankers Association last Fall - is spreading into a Showdown in America as average Americans refuse to continue cleaning up the mistakes banks are making.

In Syracuse, New York on Friday, the neighborhood group Syracuse United Neighbors (SUN) is taking action at Bank of America`s main downtown Syracuse branch. SUN believes Bank of America (BoA) and big banks like it continues to redline neighborhoods and leave low-income families at the mercy of sub-prime lenders and loan sharks. Bank of America received a $32 billion dollar taxpayer bailout and is bigger than ever and making record profits. Information from 2006 showed Bank of America made only 10 loans that year in SUN`s neighborhoods. Community leaders plan to go directly to BoA`s downtown Syracuse office and demand a detailed report of the bank`s lending record in both the city of Syracuse and the County of Onondaga for the years 2007 and 2008.

In Wichita, Kansas on this coming Saturday, residents and members of Sunflower Community Action (SCA) are fighting predatory loan products like payday loans and auto-titles. Big banks provide critical lines of credit to payday loan shops. Community leaders will take their message directly to Advance America, a payday loan company that receives funding from Bank of America. Payday loans charge an average of 400% interest and auto-loans can have interest rate of up to 264%. Community leaders hope to build further support for a state bill that would cap interest rates at 36%.

Thursday, Missourians from all walks of life gathered at the Statehouse in Jefferson City to deplored state budget cuts and refused to have the budget balanced on their backs. Because Big banks crashed the national economy, state and local governments cannot depend on property, sales or income taxes to fund our critical public services. Grass Roots Organizing (GRO) demonstrated during a hearing for a proposed massive sales tax on all Missourians in the midst of cuts to income taxes for corporations and the wealthy elite.

These groups are members of National People`s Action (NPA), a national organizing, policy, research, and training center for grassroots community organizations dedicated to building power to reclaim our democracy and advance racial and economic justice.

National People`s Action is leading The Showdown in America.