On April 15, in the run up to this year’s Tax Day, hundreds of protesters descended on a Bank of America branch in Union Square, New York City. They demanded that big banks start paying their fair share of taxes and stop foreclosures, and they also called for the government to break up banks that are “too big to fail.” Around fifty people entered the lobby of a nearby Bank of America branch with signs reading, “Stop Foreclosures! People Before Profits!” and “We pay our taxes. Why doesn’t Bank of America?”

Right before people march over and interrupt business as usual for Bank of America, Nation contributor Chris Hedges calls on the crowd to defy consumer culture and “recover the primacy” in their lives “of mercy and justice.” To do so, Americans will have to take on “the religion of unfettered capitalism.” 

In the Bank of America lobby, organizers set out boxes to show the many different social programs that could be financed if big banks paid their taxes, and condemned Bank of America for financing our current wars.

Kevin Zeese, who helped to organize the protest, says of banks like Bank of America: “They take their money overseas, rip our economy, avoid paying taxes and undermine our budgets at the state, city and federal level.” According to Zeese, citizens in the US are facing austerity because corporations like Bank of America don’t pay taxes.

For more, read Allison Kilkenny’s blog post on the action, "Chris Hedges: Obama Defies Core Values of Liberal Tradition."

—Kevin Gosztola