Occupy's Bank Blockade Victory

UC Davis occupiers innovate powerful new tactic.

The Occupy movement is building towards a big bang in May. Photo by Sunset Parkerpix

For the last two months, Occupy UC Davis has been blockading a campus branch of U.S. Bank. Now, in a victory for Occupy that potentially gives birth to a new movement tactic, U.S. Bank has capitulated and permanently closed the branch.

U.S. Bank has been a visible symbol on campus of the corporatization and monied corruption of education in part because, as The Aggie campus newspaper explains, “in 2010, all students were required to get new ID cards with the U.S. Bank logo on the back.”

The tactic of the occupiers was simple, nonviolent and highly effective. The Aggie describes the scene: “the blockade became a daily ritual. Protesters — typically numbering around 15 — would arrive around noon, followed by an officer from the campus police department. Thirty minutes later, bank employees would leave and the entire process would be repeated the next day.”

A celebratory statement posted on Occupy UC Davis’s website said, “the blockade of the U.S. Bank was a real battle against the privatization agenda, and its closure is a victory... This is not enough, this is not the end.”

The victory at Davis opens a new tactical horizon for Occupy. Can the bank blockade tactic be replicated across the nation? Could shutting down big banks every day for a month be the tactical breakthrough we need for May?

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42 comments on the article “Occupy's Bank Blockade Victory”

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Here's an idea: Instead of forcing people to lose their jobs and comply with what banks they can or cannot do business with, thereby hurting the bank as intended but making more enemies in the process, how about actually convincing branch employees to quit and customers to do business elsewhere as to allow them to make the decision by their own free will? That way, you both hurt the bank and make allies, rather than making enemies and coming off as tyrannical as the people you hate so much.


improvised explosive devices work wonders. just look at afghanistan. very few corporations there and even fewer once the security net of the west leaves. a real utopia of the people... with the guns...


improvised explosive devices work wonders. just look at afghanistan. very few corporations there and even fewer once the security net of the west leaves. a real utopia of the people... with the guns...


There is another branch off campus literally four blocks away. So many people commenting on here about poor US Bank, not even knowing the town or the University. There are other bank ATMs, including a credit union and the University is literally right next to downtown where other branches reside.


We all need to take a breather and remember that what seems like egregious, wanton, caricaturized and just plain over-the-top hardcore naked and brutal violence from the Police Forces, is really just them letting off a little steam.

We should also remember that this is the standard police way of staging their own protests over their own working conditions, since they are usually classified as "essential service" and therefore cannot strike or protest whenever they want like the rest of us. By acting totally insane and whacked out, and by being brutally,publicly, and excessively violent, they draw the public's attention and engender sentiments in the public of "they must be over-worked. We should give them raises"

It's admittedly an unorthodox form of protest specific and peculiar to Police Forces, but it is in fact a form of protest in and of itself. And we should keep that in mind.

So the next time you see an officer (or group of officers) beating a protester too within an inch of their life, please remember to think, "they are probably just letting of steam and probably all deserve raises".


Nope, it won't work with other banks since they have claimed rights over their so called private property and got police to clear access to it.

This is what happens when people don't study their civil laws and inherent rights.

At least in England they are doing it the right way


Agreed, the bank was not your typical banking location being on campus. Now good luck to the students that have no car and have to take the bus to find their way to a different bank. I think that these kids have to educate themselves on what a bank does for them, what a corporation is.

I own corporations am I some dirty money thief now? I employee many people and they benefit from being employed at my corporations.

Educate yourself occutards. Get a job, or better yet start a business, be successful, don't hate what other people have.

I am young myself, I love to see people doing things to make a difference, but what did you really accomplish by closing this bank?


Oh no... poor kids might have to explore more sustainable, ethical and...shit... not as convienient ways to find an alternate, heaven forbid OFF campus location to store their hard earned hypothetical numbers they have traided for thier prescious minets of thier lives.

By closing this branch the students told US Bank that their buisness is not welcome there! Pretty simple.

Before you go around calling people tards perhaps YOU should educate yourself more on exactly what US Bank and other Big banks really do- besides help people store thier hard earned and well deserved livleyhoods, (while they pilfer it into their own accounts). By closing this bank students were not saying anything about small buisness owners, or individuals rights to make a living... this is about BIG corporations, BIG banks, and monopolies..its about the whole idea being out of balance.
We know exactly what a corporation is- but big or small it is not a PERSON. It should not be able to have a Vote, or spend OUR money on lobbiests and politicians who caiter to corporate America. It should have no reason to be on a student ID, or involved in plasma money debit cards charging fees on our blood. It should have no vote in elections, or say in voter ID laws and the gentrification of our home towns. It should not fund Private prisions, detainment centers or cruel and unusual punishment. They should not get bailed out while the people loose their jobs and homes. They should not be set on an honored pedistal because it is precieved "too BIG to fail".

Grassroots companies and organizations are a great idea- but it should be about providing for people and basic self need (not desire), not taking people for all thier worth as means to a greedy end.

Greed has no virtue, and no needed place in our daily lives.



So are you saying that banks should no be allowed to make money. Or maybe you are saying that you want to tell the banks how much money they should make?


A bank makes money by using my money that is in that bank; however, the bank should not be permitted to make money by stealing fees and crazy usurious interest from me as well as using my money that is in their bank. Banks should make a profit, not a killing!
Banks and other corporations should be allowed to make money, but only ethically, without harming people. When corporate profits and banks' greed is valued more highly than people, government regulations ought to control corporate and banking behavior.


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