VIDEO: Demonstrators rally at Bank of America in Des Moines
About 25 people gathered Thursday afternoon in front of the Bank of America building in downtown Des Moines for a “jobs not cuts” rally, showing support for the occupy movement, President Obama’s jobs bill and safety net programs.
The rally, organized by Moveon.org and the AFL-CIO, said Bank of America has become a symbol of greed. The bank recently announced a monthly $5 fee for ATM, and many groups have been critical of the bank for not paying more in taxes.
“This is as close to Wall Street as we can get,” said Wilbur Wilson of Des Moines, who organized the rally. “This company here paid no taxes in 2009 and they foreclosed illegally on people and it’s just not right. That’s why I picked this corner.”
Wilson said people are upset with the banking system, Congress and what he sees as a lack of support for the lower and middle classes.
“I’ve always believed that I am my brother’s keeper,” Wilson said. “I may not be a real religious guy but we are our brother’s keeper. If we cease to remember that we’re nothing more than barbarians.”
Mark Cooper, president of the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, said the trickle down economics concept won’t work and people need to get behind President Obama’s jobs plan.
“We need to get an influx of money into the economy,” Cooper said. “In essence that’s why we’re out here, that we need to create jobs and it’s not about giving tax breaks to corporations, giving tax breaks to Bank of America.”
Rep. Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines) said he thinks the Occupy movement spreading across the country along with demonstrations like this one will have an impact on state and federal governments.
“This is just the beginning stages of it and as it becomes more organized and coalesces there will be a message coming out of it and a movement that is it’s time for people to take over their government,” Hunter said.