About 90 seconds into the video you’ll see a woman in a suit with her Citibank checkbook being arrested. The more action’s like this–and others detailed in this post–is the kind of civil disobedience that is necessary. It is also what the elite 1% fear most.
As I wrote the other day about guerrilla tactics and civil disobedience, this is one essential part of it. There were some folks said a debt jubilee and a general debt strike were very serious actions to consider in light of the economic damage they would cause. These are very valid criticisms. However, when videos are made of people being arrested the impression it creates, the huge perception of the little guy and gal getting hosed is what matters most. Again, it is like guerrilla warfare: the overall impression and bad PR is worth so much more than than we think. When regular people start seeing this behavior they realize something is very wrong, that the protests aren’t just about hippies and bongos and pot smoking. They instinctively sense the economic injustice they have suffered and their sympathies shift to the protests.
This stuff is like death by a thousand little pin pricks to the banks, especially when they have to put out very defensive press releases like this.
In short: we don’t have to cause economic harm, yet, but just PR harm. This video is proof and is another (small) solid victory.
Addendum: It also strikes me that one demand banking customers and protesters alike can make is the portability of accounts easier, much like our cell phones numbers are mandated by law to be easily portable:
”œThe technology locks you in and they’re keenly aware of it,” said Robert Smith, who was chief executive of Security Pacific when it was bought by Bank of America in 1992. ”œIt’s very hard for consumers to just ditch that.”
For years, banks have openly sought to attach as many loans and services as they can to a customer, like credit cards, mortgages and mobile phone banking.
What they haven’t mentioned are marketing studies like the one commissioned by Fiserv, which develops online bill paying systems, showing that using the Internet to pay bills, do automatic deductions and send electronic checks reduced customer turnover for banks by up to 95 percent in some cases.
This is something that will make it extremely difficult for mom and pop to move their money and is something that will need addressing.