Phoenix Occupy Movement protests Bank of America

Occupy protesters stood outside Bank of America on Thursday afternoon in downtown Phoenix and voiced their concerns about foreclosures and bank injustice. (Photo by Thania A. Betancourt)

About 30 people protested home foreclosures and overdraft fees Thursday outside a Bank of America in downtown Phoenix.

“They got bailed out, we got sold out,” the group chanted at the building near Central Avenue and Thomas Road.

“This is a kick-off event to helping homeowners who want to stay in their homes and community members that want to take back their community,” said Joe Fitzpatrick, an organizer for Living United for Change in Arizona, an organization focused on social reforms.

“The reason I am down here is because I was sick of feeling powerless,” Fitzpatrick said.

He switched to a credit union bank shortly after filing a lawsuit against Bank of America over overdraft fees, he said.

Mesa resident and Phoenix protester Yama Astana said he has always been a Bank of America member but decided to switch to a credit union after owing $500 in overdraft fees.

“I don’t owe them s–t,” Astana said. “I (would) rather go to a loan shark than to overdraft from Bank of America.”

LUCHA member and Glendale Community College sophomore Abril Gallardo was also protesting, but for different reasons.

“At this point I think I would rather go class by class than take loans,” Gallardo said. “I know it will take forever but how things are looking, I’d rather graduate without loans.”

Mesa resident Rachel Skaggs said she has been with the Occupy Phoenix movement since October and has protested on the Tempe campus against tuition-related bills.

Skaggs said the Occupy Movement has not died down since it first started and she hopes to educate people about the movement.

“It’s just evolving and changing,” Skaggs said. “Every action will grow into another action.”

 

Reach the reporter at thaniab@asu.edu

 

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