May 9-10, 2008: Jam down at the Bank!

A coordinated Day of Mountain Music Action against the Banks that fund
coal.

Bank of America and Citi are the biggest funders of the coal industry.
Continued dependence on coal as an energy source means dirtier
air and water, more global warming and the all-out destruction
of Appalachian communities and ecosystems by Mountain Top
Removal (MTR) coal
mining.
MTR is a form of strip-mining for coal by which up to 1,000
vertical feet are blasted off the tops of mountains and dumped
into the valleys
below. The process has already destroyed 800 square miles
of mountains and 1,200 miles of streams in Virginia, West
Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Recently as Bank of America and Citi continue to fund the destruction
of Appalachia, Action Jackson, a string band from East Tennessee
has brought bluegrass and old-time jams into bank branches
across the south
in protest of the banks’ investments in coal. Now Mountain
Justice is asking for musicians and others to join Action
Jackson in a great big
jam down at the bank on Friday May 9th and Saturday May 10th.
Where will this jam be held? At any Bank of America or Citi
location near you. You
don’t play Appalachian music? Well a boom-box and a CD playing
any kind of music will be just fine. Half-sheet handouts
detailing BoA and
Citi’s crimes as well as other campaign materials can be
found on Rainforest
Action Network’s website
.


Action ideas:

  1. Take the jam into the bank. Some folks play music while others hand
    out flyers and hold signs. Be sure to communicate clearly
    that your protest does not take issue with the employees
    or the account-holders but rather
    with corporate management responsible for the bank’s investment
    policies. Doing so has been a great way for Mountain Justice
    activists to have
    constructive conversations with these folks during past
    actions
    . Bank management and or law enforcement will probably
    ask you to leave.
    It’s
    a good idea to leave when asked so as to avoid arrest and
    if you want, you can resume the protest at a public space
    outside.
  2. Don’t go in. Just jam outside, hold signs and
    hand out flyers. If you’re on bank property then you’ll
    still probably get asked to leave –
    but again you should be able to continue your protest in
    a public space nearby.
  3. Fly below the radar. Leave the
    signs, the music and the mass of protesters at home.
    Hang out outside the bank. Where nice professional clothes if
    you’ve got some. Hand out the half-page fact sheets available
    on RAN’s website. Try to give them only to folks leaving
    the bank if possible
    so that no one alerts management of your presence. If you manage to do this for however long you’d like without anyone from the bank confronting you about it, then let them know you’ve been doing it before
    you leave. It’s great that you’ll have educated so many
    account-holders about the
    issue, but it’s also best that branch management knows
    they’ve been protested. The best tactic is one that both expands
    your constituency and applies
    direct pressure to your target.

In either of these action scenarios, live music is more fun and more
festive but a boombox is certainly sufficient. A boombox plus a megaphone
will even get your message heard from outside and across the street.
Any action identifying itself as Mountain Justice should fall within
the campaign’s non-violent and no-property-destruction framework.

Let Mountain Justice know you’ve done an action.
Please email us an action report after you’ve done your action.
There’s no need for us to know beforehand but we would like to post info
and photos on the actions page of the MJS website.

You can send action
reports to [email protected].

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