In the wake of recent revelations of documents confirming Bank of America’s use of social media trolling teams to spy on activist groups, Anonymous Olympia has released an open letter (reposted below) stating that they will hold them accountable. Whether or not they follow through on their promise, they make good arguments for why we should not be giving our money to such banks. There’s plenty of alternatives more deserving of our trust and which make better investments, such as public banks, community banks, credit unions, community currencies, digital currencies (do careful research first) and safe deposit boxes for physical precious metals. Currently, only North Dakota has a state-owned bank, but it’s been such a success, at least 20 other states are considering proposals to create their own.
Dear Bank of America,
Thank you for your interest in Anonymous Olympia. After careful review
of your actions, we have prepared the following open letter:
Your institution is like a large, festering carcass that smothers all
of the life beneath it as it wallows, decaying in its own gluttonous
vastness. Nobody pretends that you’re a decent banking institution
these days except you, and we all know you’re not. You’re swollen,
sallow with your own misdeeds.
It blows our minds how anyone could still bank with you, or why they
would want to. Your commercials smile and lie, but everyone can smell
the bullshit wafting from behind those carefully constructed scenes of
gentle middle-class life that you promote on television and in the
lobbies of your bank branches.
The way you nickel and dime your customers to financial death is
disgusting, and you should be ashamed. A fee to close an account, a
monthly fee to have an account, a thirty five dollar over-draft fee
for as little as a $0.01 over-draft, a fee for bill-pay, the five
dollar debit-usage fee.
You’re a vampire, Bank of America. You’re a parasite, bloated with the
blood that you suck from the financial life of your customers.
Shall we mention your colluding with Visa and MasterCard to keep ATM
fees outrageously high? Or all the times that you illegally and
wrongfully foreclosed on the homes of families that banked with you,
leaving those families homeless, their lives ruined? Or the miniscule
amount of taxes that you’re supposed to pay, but don’t?
What about the six former Bank of America employees who came forward
and revealed your despicable practices, including rewarding employees
who managed to place ten or more mortgage accounts into foreclosure in
one month with a $500.00 bonus?
We suppose a financial institution with your track record of being
evil could justify spying on a group of average citizens who were
attempting to exercise their right to air grievances through public
assembly, but that doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t make what we
do any of your business, either.
In fact, your actions directly violate our constitutional right to
privacy. The fact that you worked with Washington State Patrol to
share information represents a terrifying fusion of financial and
state interest, one that I hope keeps your employees up at night.
Fascism is defined as a merging of state and corporate interest, so
make of that what you will, Bank of America.
We know that you were asked to comment on your spying, but declined to
do so- this leaves us with little hope that you will hold yourself
accountable for this and other actions, so we’re going to start
holding you accountable, instead, and we’re going to ask all of our
brothers and sisters to join us.
You may have been watching us, Bank of America, but we’ve been
watching you, too, and our memories are long.
We do not forgive, we do not forget.