Move Your Money, Not Our Mountains!
March 9, 2012 – Today, more than 50 Mountain Justice volunteers descended upon Johnson City, TN to bring the fight against Mountain Top Removal to a regional branch of the global financial institution, UBS, for their funding of the community poisoning coal mining technique. Many were students from all over America, from
Minnesota to Florida, in the area for Mountain Justice Spring Break, a week long service and learning event focused on building leadership within the youth movement for a clean and just energy future. Carrying signs and singing songs, the demonstrators brought a lively street theater to the sleepy strip mall housing the local presence of the world’s largest funder of mountaintop removal.
The group, joined by members of Occupy Johnson City, sought to bring attention to the cozy relationship between Big Wall St. Banks and Big Coal’s insatiable hunger for profit over the health and safety of the 99%. Enraged by the crushing realities faced by folks living in the shadow of active strip mines in Wise County, the marchers read their Declaration of Grievances, demanding that UBS immediately end financing coal corporations engaged in the destruction of Appalachian Mountains. They sang the classic song of union and solidarity, “Which Side Are You On”, demanding that UBS get on the right side of history and the right side of Justice.
Before participants could even enter the UBS branch, the nervous executives and wealth managers inside locked the doors, refusing to engage in a dialogue about the need for investments in a clean, just and sustainable energy future. After police arrived to protect the interests and security of the 1%, marchers took their action to the sidewalk. Some engaged with passerby’s, finding support from many who share grievances with the Banksters. Whether it’s bailouts, bonuses, tax breaks or forclosures, many in the 99% have right to shout down the big banks who prey off the labor of the rest of us.
With honks of support from passing cars, marchers were approached by employees of Bank of America who expressed their support for the action. Bank of America, with branches on nearly every Main St., is just behind UBS in its financial support for Mountain Top Removal. Mountain Justice supports all those who take a stand and demand an end to any big bank raking in profits on the backs of poisoned communities.
After dropping a banner advertising UBS’s immoral investments from a highway overpass, the marchers doubled back to bring the demonstration to UBS for one more round. This time, the police returned in force, refusing to allow dissent any where near the bastion of 1% profit. With shouts of “Bank of America, You Are Next!”, Mountain Justice exited the scene after disrupting the normal operations of Wall St.’s dirty profit flow.