Nationwide bank protests will deliver the message: JP MORGAN CHASE—MORALLY BANKRUPT!!


Nationwide bank protests will deliver the message: JP MORGAN CHASE—MORALLY BANKRUPT!!

Take action by   Friday, March 18, 2011

Press Advisory

At noon on Friday, February 4, activists from religious, human rights, labor,
and community groups will gather outside nearly two hundred Chase Bank locations
across the country with banners and leaflets protesting JPMorgan Chase Bank’s
immoral treatment of its customers and communities.  The actions will take
place in 21 of the 23 states where Chase has branches. (Check with local
contact for location of events in your area.

Chase publicly claims it is a socially responsible corporation committed to
business practices that uphold the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Its actions,
however, fall far short of that standard. The groups that have organized these
protests have deep concerns about two areas of bank activity: Chase’s mortgage
foreclosures and the profits it reaps from its relationship with an industry
known for well-documented human rights abuses.

As of September 30, JP Morgan Chase led the nation’s big banks in
foreclosures, with nearly 7.5 percent of its mortgage portfolio in
foreclosure.  When news surfaced of widespread processing errors and
irregularities, Chase declared a moratorium, but is now reportedly preparing to
resume foreclosures. The groups leading Friday’s protests are urging Chase to
extend the moratorium in order to pursue alternatives that will make it possible
for families to stay in their homes.

“Foreclosures are a plague on families and communities,” said the Rev.
Charles Williams, Sr., a leader in Detroit’s anti-foreclosure coalition, People
Before Banks. “It cannot be in any bank’s best interest to pursue a policy that
leaves so many people and communities in ruins – and for a bank like Chase that
professes to be a good citizen, tearing families and communities apart is
morally indefensible.”

At the same time, Chase leads a group of banks that provides nearly half a
billion dollars in loans to Reynolds American, one of the largest tobacco
corporations in the United States. Even though neither Chase nor Reynolds
directly employs tobacco field workers, both corporations are in a position to
make changes in the industry systems that lead directly to the abusive
conditions under which these workers work and live. The protesters are asking
Chase to use its powers of economic and moral suasion to bring Reynolds into
dialogue with worker advocates and to work together to correct the abuses in the
tobacco field and camps.

“I’ve seen, with my own eyes, the dangerous and inhumane conditions imposed
on the workers who tend and harvest the tobacco crop,” said Cecil Roberts,
International President of the United Mine Workers of America. “Both these giant
corporations profit from the labor of these exploited workers and have it in
their power to play a decisive role in ending the abuses.”

“Chase is not the good corporate citizen it claims to be, and we’re asking
the public to join us in urging the bank to commit to ending human rights abuses
in America’s tobacco fields,” said Baldemar Velasquez, President of the Farm
Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), one of the lead organizations spearheading
the nationwide actions.

For more information on the campaign, visit:

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