Moral Low Ground

Economy

‘The Moral High Ground’: Rainforest Action Network Activists Turn Every San Francisco Bank of America ATM into ‘Truth Machines’

It was a bold piece of direct action, a well-orchestrated overnight campaign to spread the truth about Bank of America. When it was all over, some 85 BofA ATMs all over San Francisco, from Fishermen’s Wharf all the way down to Cayuga Terrace, had been converted, at least temporarily, into ‘truth machines.’ 

It was the work of the fine men and women of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), a group that usually concerns itself with, well, saving earth’s rain forests. RAN activists claim they hit every single BofA ATM in the city, plastering their screens with non-adhesive stickers modeled on the bank’s ATM menu. Instead of withdrawals, deposits and bill paying, RAN’s menus  “offered a list of everything BoA customers’ money is being used for, including investment in coal-fired power plants, foreclosure on Americans’ homes, bankrolling of climate change, and paying for fat executive bonuses.”

SFist reports that last night’s action was part of RAN’s new Tumblr, BankruptingAmerica.tumblr.com, which will “track all the ways BoA is bankrupting America, hence the name.”

Bank of America, with 5,900 branches and 18,000 ATMs in the United States, reported a profit of $6.2 billion in the third quarter of 2011. Still, it hasn’t been easy going for the banking giant lately, as many customers vented their outrage over a proposed $5 debit card usage fee that the bank dropped due to public anger. Customers are more likely to leave Bank of America than any other bank, and many are turning to community banks or credit unions for their banking needs. Here’s how you can do likewise.

(Photo: Rainforest Action Network)

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