Watch out, Charlotte: Brian Moynihan may lose his mind today. He's the CEO of Bank of America, the one who whined about the bank's PR issues last month — as if people just made up reasons to be pissed at Charlotte's darling with no logical basis.
Why might Mr. Moynihan lose his mind?
Well, kids, environmentalists of the world are tired of BofA's support of the coal industry, and they aim to make that complaint super clear at a protest today. They've already begun pushing BofA customers to cut and run, but today's protest is designed to step up their concerns.
While Moynihan will probably point out that the bank is just trying to make a buck, the environmentalists intend to point out that the bank is selling out everyone's health and the environment in the process.
We'll be at today's protest, and we'll update this post ASAP with the 411. Expect Occupy Charlotte to be in attendance, too.
UPDATE: Since this story was filed earlier this morning, arrests have been made at the Bank of America protest, which the police and protesters with Occupy Charlotte, the Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace carried off peacefully. Protesters had climbed up the flagpoles outside of the BofA headquarters. As police arrested them, a Charlotte Mecklenburg officer told one of them, "I'll let you do what you've got to do to get down; I don't want to drag you."
So far, police have arrested eight protesters, whose names we do not yet have. Beth Henry, a Greenpeace volunteer, said in a speech outside the BofA headquarters, "Greenpeace is excited to join RAN, Occupy Charlotte and other groups today to take a stand against coal. Coal is contaminating our community, causing many adverse health effects like asthma attacks, lung disease and cancer ... Coal is dirty and outdated. Coal kills."
UPDATE 1:29 PM: According to Vic Suter, one of the protesters arrested this morning, Occupy Charlotte protestors have been released with no bail required and a court date has been set.
So far, we have not reached BofA for a comment on the protest. Stay tuned for more throughout the day.
Here's the press release from the Rainforest Action Network, which recently opened an office in Charlotte:
As outrage at the country’s largest banks increases with the Occupy Movement and record bank customers move money to credit unions and local banks, RAN finds yet another reason customers should be wary of Bank of America. Our campaign briefing, titled Bank of America: Risking Public Health and the Climate brings to light the company as the country’s top financier of the coal industry, and in turn, a leading contributor to climate change in the United States.
In the last two years, the company pumped $4.3 billion into the U.S. coal industry, more than any other bank.
Bank of America is involved in every aspect of the coal mining industry. It routinely underwrites billions to the industry, including hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to Arch Coal and Peabody Energy—the two biggest coal mining companies in the country. Bank of America also under writes billions every year to coal-heavy utility corporations, such as Southern Company and Edison International.
Read the rest of the press release here.