Last week, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) -- a group whose slogan is "environmentalism with teeth" -- launched a Tumblr site with The New Bottom Line called Bankrupting America. The group states the site is a place to show "the worst of the [Bank of America's] deeds, personal stories of those that have been hurt by the company and what everyday people are doing to fight back."
It seems some have already started to fight back. Late last week, 85 Bank of America ATMs in the San Francisco area were defaced with stickers that looked like the usual touch-screen interface but had different options that turned the machine into what RAN called "Automated Truth Machines." According to RAN's Understory, the sticker provided ATM users with transaction options such as "Invest in coal-fired power plants" and "Foreclose on America's homes" instead of things like withdrawal cash or deposit checks. Understory states that the stickers also told customers to "Stop doing business with Bank of America until they start behaving responsibly."
In addition to touting this action, RAN has also featured stories on its Tumblr site that include the following headlines and photos:
- BofA took my mom's house
- Bank of America or Bank of Greed
- BofA charges $27 for late fee over 1 cent
- Home without mortgage almost foreclosed by Bank of America
- Oh, the Irony! Bank of America Plaza in Atlanta Faces Foreclosure
“Communities everywhere are fed up with Bank of America for putting profits before people and that’s what this new blog is all about,” said Amanda Starbuck, director of RAN’s Energy and Finance program, in the release. “Whether it’s the fact that the company bankrolls climate change through coal investments or forecloses on America’s homeowners while paying top executives millions in bonuses, these are all symptoms of the bank’s lack of morality.”
According to the release, RAN's overarching goal is to "break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights and stop destructive investments." The New Bottom Line is coalition of community organizations, congregations and individuals seeking to "challenge established big bank interests on behalf of struggling and middle-class communities."