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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”

Displaying 21 - 30 of 42

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Anonymous

I don't see how being a banker should allow you any more privilege than any other professional. I don't see why homeowners should have to spend their entire lives making interest payments that total more than twice the value of their home. I don't understand why big bankers can't be held accountable for crashing the economy. I don't understand why gangsters are criminals, but gangster capitalists are hero's.

Anonymous

As the manager of a huge bank, if you use your power and influence to deregulate the market in order to distribute toxic loans, you are acting irresponsibly to maximize short term profits. If you bundle those loans and sell them as safe investments to other businesses, you are breaking the law. If those businesses rely on those investments to pay retirement funds, 401K's, and pensions, you are recklessly endangering the financial security of your working community. After you're busted, if you blame it all on poor black people who should have known better than to get a loan, you are a racist and a liar. And if you're a conservative with the blinders on, I'm an asshole communist because I don't trust white men with unlimited corporate and political power.

Anonymous

Students at UC Davis are largely cyclists. It's one of the largest concentrations of bicycles in the world during the school year. The university is right next to downtown and there are other ATMs on campus, including a much more ethical local credit union.

poltergist22

I agree, a lot of people are seeing this as just some anti-establishment movement.I was under the impression this was about making people responsible or at least the company's/corporations that have been predatory. I think you should unite under a banner of support for poor people and nationalism, or even internationalism not attack single banks and homestead. What if everyone in OWS started lobbying the money managers or elected politicians who are actual public servants to do this www.nationalday911.org... if you get control of the money or money managers then you can make change doing it for everyone's common good would be more productive than storming banks and sleeping in parks.

Anonymous

So now students have to go off-campus to bank?
How does it help organize support to alienate potential supporters?
Money is not capitalism, it is simply a medium of exchange.
Capitalism is usury.

Anonymous

So you think all the US Bank does is exchange money?
That the US Bank is not involved in usury, or any other unfair tool of capitalism?
That the US Bank logo belongs on compulsory university student ID cards?

Anonymous

Its amazing how many posts have been deleted by the webmaster here. Way to go on filtering comments.

Peter Vom Tal

All citizens not to participate in the 2012 elections, the U.S. has no real democracy is a plutocracy, when we the candidates have a 99% vote, but today Democrats and Republican are the economic dictatorship.

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