Pajama Protest

The new tactic: #sleepfulprotest. Taking it to the banks.


Two members of Occupy D.C. were arrested Thursday morning outside a Bank of America branch not far from McPherson square after the latest overnight protest outside the bank’s doors. The protesters were the sixth and seventh to be arrested this week after taking part in what Occupy is calling a “sleepful protest”—slumbering overnight outside the door of a bank branch.

The Nation says it’s bringing Occupy and OWS back to its roots:

The concept of sleepful protests combines Occupy’s two most powerful elements: physical occupations and the targeting of Wall Street, thereby alleviating one of the major criticisms of OWS, which was that the occupations of parks and squares is too far removed from the movement’s actual targets.

When people see Occupiers sleeping outside a bank, the natural question for them to ask is “Why this bank?” And that allows the protesters to segue into an explanation of what Occupy is and what they stand for. In fact, that exact interaction happened with an Occupier and Colin Moynihan:

“Why Citibank?” said Rich Carollan, 23, who was reclining near Broadway. “Because they received a large portion of the bailout funds.”

And we’re still debating–or some Metropolitan Police are confused about–the meaning of “blocking passage.” DC protestors were arrested early Tuesday for sitting against the Bank of America building holding signs. They are contesting the charges.

Why Bank of America? Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone will tell you why:

It’s been four years since the government, in the name of preventing a depression, saved this megabank from ruin by pumping $45 billion of taxpayer money into its arm. Since then, the Obama administration has looked the other way as the bank committed an astonishing variety of crimes – some elaborate and brilliant in their conception, some so crude that they’d be beneath your average street thug. Bank of America has systematically ripped off almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, depositors, homeowners, shareholders, pensioners and taxpayers. It brought tens of thousands of Americans to foreclosure court using bogus, “robo-signed” evidence – a type of mass perjury that it helped pioneer. It hawked worthless mortgages to dozens of unions and state pension funds, draining them of hundreds of millions in value. And when it wasn’t ripping off workers and pensioners, it was helping to push insurance giants like AMBAC into bankruptcy by fraudulently inducing them to spend hundreds of millions insuring those same worthless mortgages.

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