Stroller-pushing moms protest big banks in Oakland

November 5, 2011 • Business

Occupy Wall Street demonstrator Geraldine Alzid, holds her daughter Ligaya, 7 months, with a group of familes that [auth] marched to a Wells Fargo Bank as part of the protest in downtown Oakland, Calif., Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. Two mothers withdrew their savings from the bank as part of the protest. Saturday is Bank Transfer Day for supporters to take their money out of major banks and put their money into smaller banks. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Dozens of moms, dads and their kids protested the nation’s biggest banks Friday with a stroller march that called on bank customers to switch to credit unions.

About 60 parents and their young children took part in Friday’s “Teach Banks to Share” demonstration, which was organized by a group called the Colorful Mamas of the 99 Percent.

The stroller-pushing parents marched through downtown Oakland in support of the national “Move Your Money” campaign, which is urging customers of big banks to close their accounts and join credit unions by Saturday, which is being dubbed “Bank Transfer Day.”

The campaign has gained momentum with the expansion of the Occupy Wall Street protests nationwide.

The protesters beat drums and chanted “Time out! You better share!” as they marched to a Wells Fargo branch. The group rallied outside while two mothers went inside and closed their accounts.

“We believe that the money needs to go from the 1 percent to all of us to pay for schools, health care, putting food on the table and our kids’ future,” protester Mimi Ho, carrying her baby, told the crowd after closing her Wells Fargo account.

The protesters said big banks such as Wells Fargo & Co. don’t pay enough taxes or contribute enough to their communities, despite having received tens of billions of dollars in federal bailout funds and posting multibillion-dollar profits.

“We want reinvestment in our communities. We want corporations and large banks to pay their fair share of taxes,” said Prishni Murillo, 33, an Oakland mother of two.

Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido said the San Francisco-based bank been an industry leader in charitable giving, modifying mortgages and lending money to small businesses.

“We’re doing a lot to strengthen communities in the Bay Area and around the country,” Pulido said.

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