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Protesters Converge On Bank Of America Shareholder Meeting

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are preparing for another large protest expected in uptown Wednesday morning. It comes less than a week after protesters crowded outside the Duke Energy building.

Wednesday’s event is expected to bring hundreds outside Bank of America. Police have already brought over barricades they plan to line up outside Bank of America’s headquarters to make sure protesters don’t trespass.

Rainforest Action Network said it’s prepared as well. The environmental organization plans to protest Bank of America’s multibillion-dollar investment in the coal industry. “Bank of America is on the hook for this. It’s putting our communities and our shareholders at risk,” Todd Zimmer, with RAN, said.

Zimmer said for the first time the group will take the protest off the streets and into the meeting itself. Five of its members plan to speak. “They are all shareholders, so they have every right to be in the meeting. They will be testifying as to the real impacts they experienced,” Zimmer said.

One of the speakers is from Colombia. That’s where the coal company Drummond limited has a mine. Bank of America works with Drummond. Santiago Piñeros is an attorney with Social Thought and Action. He has seen how people are now sick from the pollution and coal ash. “It’s a violation of human rights- of health, of life,” he said.

RAN points to Duke Energy’s recent coal ash spill as an example of how this issue can impact anyone.

Police said they plan to have more officers in uptown, and will add more if needed.

Channel 9 reached out to Bank of America for comment about Wednesday’s meeting and any changes they have planned. They declined to comment.


From the Facebook event:

This Wednesday Bank of America will be hosting their annual shareholders meeting. Several local activists have come together to organize an outside action to ensure that the meeting does not happen without visible opposition. We are organizing a rally/flash dance party outside to greet their investors as they walk out. The event will be a sarcastic take on the world view of a bank executive. We are encouraging participants to wear a suit or nice shirt and tie, make signs that are funny, but that will still make sense to the media. We will send out a media advisory on Tuesday night and have press releases available at the event. There will also be prior communication with CMPD stating our intent of a peaceful gathering. Invite your friends. We WILL see you on Wednesday!

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