Bank of America

This post was authored by Harry Alper, a 2011 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and organizer with Rainforest Action Network.

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On Saturday, December 15, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville will award Bank of America chairman Charles Holliday an honorary doctorate, citing his leadership in business sustainability. A graduate of UTK, Mr. Holliday has made a career as a corporate advocate for sustainable business; in 2002, he co-authored a book titled “Walking the Talk” which detailed the importance of ecological balance and corporate social responsibility.

Given all the talking Mr. Holliday does about sustainable business, it is a crushing irony that his “walking” includes presiding over Bank of America, the single largest funder of mountaintop removal coal companies.

Students at the University of Tennessee have noticed this significant inconsistency, and they are organizing a response. Mr. Holliday has been invited to a teach-in that will feature Coal River Mountain Watch president Bob Kincaid on the devastating impacts of mountaintop removal and what Bank of America, and Mr. Holliday, can do to stop it.

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On Friday, Mitt Romney once again displayed his utter contempt for young voters. Reacting to the massive demonstration against Bank of America in Charlotte last week, Romney told WBTV that the protestors were simply too young to understand the economy or how banks work:

Asked what message he had for the protestors, Romney said, “Unfortunately, a lot of young folks haven’t had the opportunity to really understand how the economy works, and what it takes to put people to work in real jobs, and why we have banks, and what banks do. I understand — it’s a very understandable sentiment if you don’t find a job, and you can’t see rising incomes. You’re going to be angry and looking at someone to blame.

As one of the nearly 1,000 people (young and old) participated in the protests, I have a message for Mitt Romney: Dismiss us if you want, but young voters are not going away. We took to the streets in Charlotte because we know exactly what banks do, and we will not stand by while Bank of America is destroying our environment and our economy.

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We're in Charlotte today marching on the Bank of America Shareholders meeting to confront Fossil Fool CEO Brian Moynihan and send a message to BoA that we won't sit by while they bankrupt our future.

The action, organized by our partners at the Rainforest Action Network and the 99 Power Coalition will feature three marches, a boxing match between Brian “Big Banks” Moynihan and the 99% that is being billed as the “Showdown in Charlotte”, and all sorts of other creative, peaceful protests.

The action gets started at 8AM. We'll be live-tweeting from @EnergyAction and posting updates to the live blog below throughout the day. Other places to keep up with the action in real-time include the livestreams below and on twitter through @RAN, @99Power, @BankVsAmerica, #MakeBoAPay, and #99Power.

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