The 99% movement will return to Marin County this weekend in a Day of Action sponsored by MoveOn.org.
“On Saturday, November 5, across the country, Americans who represent the other 99% will take to the streets,” reads an announcement from the organization. “We will demonstrate that we cannot support businesses that do not support us, their employees or America by paying their fair share. We will ask people to move their money into local credit unions and banks.”
In Marin County, the primary site of demonstration will be the building at 1000 4th Street in downtown San Rafael, starting at 12 noon. An earlier demonstration in drew about 300 people to the same location.
The nearby City Plaza is the site of weekly demonstrations by the movement, held at noon on Saturdays since Oct. 12. Occupy Marin is also participating in this weekend's event.
The demonstration is part of a national “Move Your Money” campaign, encouraging individuals and institutions to divest from the nation's largest Wall Street banks and move to local financial institutions.
"Move Your Money is a national project from several organizations," said MoveOn county coordinator Pat Johnstone of San Anselmo. "It brings attention to the inequalities in the banking system."
The movement began in 2009 "as a Christmas dinner conversation between Arianna Huffington and a few friends," according to the moveyourmoneyproject.com website.
“Little has changed to prevent another financial crisis or to end 'Too Big To Fail’ and Congress is unwilling to act,” said Joe Chadwick of Marin City, a MoveOn Marin member quoted in the announcement. “People can take real, concrete actions to create a more stable and localized banking system.”
Marin MoveOn organizers chose Bank of America due to a plan to charge $5 per month for its customers to use their debit cards. Johnstone and other organizers are urging people to close their Bank of America accounts and open new ones in local branches.
On Tuesday, Nov. 1, the Bank of America cancelled plans for the $5 monthly charge, reportedly in response to an online petition that gathered over 300,000 signatures.
Local banks and credit unions report record numbers of new accounts being opened, according to the MoveOn statement, “with a sharp increase since a previous demonstration on October 12.”
At the, Fabia Butler could not give a specific number or percentage of new accounts related to the movement. “I do know we have gotten some run off from other banks, especially after the $5 debit fee was announced,” she said. “But we’re getting new customers all the time, and we certainly welcome them.” She went on to emphasize that the Bank of Marin does not take a political stance on this or other issues.
Other local financial institutions include , Hamilton Bank and the .
Similar demonstrations are scheduled elsewhere in the Bay Area, according to the MoveOn website.