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?