Scroll down this post for fuller accounts of this hot new trend!
Now the most recent case.
In an effort to protest “corporate greed” or big banks (or whatever statement they were trying to make), two members of Occupy Santa Cruz attempted to close their Bank of America accounts but were instead asked to leave and come back when they weren't protesting:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/tK0O30aFT7g?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]
The video shows that when the two sign-carrying women entered the Santa Cruz branch of Bank of America, they were told "you cannot be a protesters and a customer at the same time."
The protesters offered to take their signs outside but a woman who worked at the bank repeated that they had to leave and they could not close their account, reports the Central Coast Times.
Watch the Central Coast News update:
One of the police officers called to the scene talked to the bank manager and told the protesters that "If they came in with the signs and they were part of the protest earlier, then they are protesters and cannot be customers at the same time."
In an email to Central Coast News, Colleen Haggerty of Bank of America released this statement:
It is our responsibility to ensure a safe environment for customers to conduct financial transactions. So, due to the disruptive nature of protests lately and the potential for safety or security issues, we do not allow protestors inside of our banking centers.
If a customer who is participating in a protest wishes to conduct bank business, including close an account, we ask them to come back when they are not protesting or they may also conduct their bank business at a nearby branch away from protest activities.
Haggerty also told Central Coast News that Bank of Ameica, "respects everyone's ability to exercise their first amendment rights, however we also have to balance safety and business needs for all customers."
According to the same article, "The women said that they would return to Bank of America the next day, sans signs, and close their accounts taking their 'money away from the banking elite and into a local credit union.'"
However, what's important to note is that this most recent occurrence in Santa Cruz is just one among many in a growing list of events that may indicate that something much larger is at work here. The Blaze have been meticulously cataloging these events and here are some of the most notable ones:
In an effort to send a message to big banks, some organizers, who are supported by the protestors of the Occupy Wall Street movement, have organized an event to remove all funds from banks and into credit unions.
Organizers are calling the event “Bank Transfer Day” and are encouraging people nationwide to participate November 5.
The Facebook page for the event states the following:
“Together we can ensure that these banking institutions will ALWAYS remember the 5th of November!! If the 99% removes our funds from the major banking institutions on or by this date, we will send a clear message and give the 1% a taste of the fear that we experience every day when we aren’t able to pay for our rent, food, medication, utilities, student loans, etc.”
So far over 6,500 people have RSVP’ed for the event.
Or take another example, when a women wearing a suit claimed to be merely an innocent customer who wanted to close her Citibank account.
"The truth seems to be that a group of anti-bank protestors stormed the branch with plans to close their accounts en masse. And they had no inclination to leave the premises," writes The Blaze's Scott Baker.
Watch the video here.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/S6svA6Qvq1U?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]
And it has also been reported on The Blaze that at least two different U.S. senators have publicly encouraged bank customers to withdraw their money in order to send a message to the banks. First there was Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL):
And then there was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT):
With all of these examples occurring so close to one another, some have concluded that, much like the Occupy protests themselves, these are not merely coincidental occurrences springing up from a grassroots movement. Instead, they are part of a much larger and well-planned scheme.
But to what end?