This Saturday, a crowd of over 60 (including roughly 25 Wesleyan students) rallied in Middletown against the Keystone XL Tarsands Pipeline. The pipeline, which would carry an especially nasty and energy intensive type of oil from indigenous lands in Alberta across the American prairie to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, has been derided by climate scientists as an extraction project that would spell “game over for the planet”.
The energetic march rallied on High Street before marching 1.5 miles up Washington to target TD Bank, one of the primary financiers of the pipeline project. The protesters held signs and banners, formed a picket outside the bank, chanted slogans, and distributed fliers to customers urging them to divest from TD Bank and join local credit unions, which are not-for-profit and member-run. The rally drew participants from all over the state including a number of Middletown locals.
New Seasons Federal Credit Union ATM hits Exley Science Center
Not only has the number of on-campus automated teller machines doubled over break, but thanks to Occupy Wesleyan and WSA efforts, we now have an alternative to Bank of America. Seasons Federal Credit Union, a local Connecticut credit union, has set up a new ATM in Exley (located between the 24-hour Quiet Study Lounge and Pi Cafe). It has the same features as the BoA machine, including account balances and cash withdrawal. However, for non-members the fee is $1.75, cheaper than Bank of America’s $2.00. Seasons account members can also deposit cash or checks directly into their accounts via the ATM. Moreover, Seasons is a member of a credit union network that allows members of participating credit unions to use the ATM for free. See if your credit union is in the network here.
After an eventful “Move Your Money” campaign featuring a march on Bank of America, the issue of Bank of America’s monopoly at Wesleyan grabbed both students’ and administrators’ attention and was pursued by members of the WSA. When the administration decided to put a second ATM on campus, instead of automatically giving Bank of America access, as they might have done without Occupy’s efforts, they sent out a request for proposals to all the banks and credit unions established in Middletown. Seasons FCU’s proposal won the bid over those of Bank of America and others. This is not only great for Wesleyan, but for the larger community as well!
As Middletown Patch tells it, the merry band of activists made their way to Main Street’s Bank of America branch, where they flooded the entrance in caution tape and foreclosure notices. As the YouTube footage testifies, a few attempted to close their own accounts in the midst of the protest:
Those attempting to close their accounts were initially refused entry and told by bank representatives to leave the property.
A statement was read condemning the bank’s funding of mountaintop removal and “careless gambling of the health of the global economy” before students marched back to campus where representatives from local credit unions were present to help students open new accounts.
The first eleven photos are via Dan Fischer ’12. The rest—including wieb$ money shot—are courtesy of Mariama Eversley ’14. Video via the MoveYourMoneyWes YouTube channel.