Wells Fargo celebrated its 160th birthday today, and to mark the occasion, a dozen activists organized by the group Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, descended on the bank’s Minneapolis regional headquarters and unfurled black balloons carrying populist messages. The activists gathered in the lobby and sang “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, you don’t pay your taxes, and foreclose on us, too.”
“Birthday cards” tied to the balloons bore the messages: “To: Wells Fargo, From: The 99% $43 Billion Bailout”, “To: Wells Fargo, From: The 99% $17.5 Billion Worth of Foreclosed Homes” and “To: Wells Fargo, From: The 99% $17.96 Billion in dodged taxes”.
“Anybody who has ripped off their customers for as long as they have needs to be acknowledged in a very special way,” activist Jim Bush joked about the decision to celebrate Wells Fargo’s birthday.
“We’re here to celebrate Wells Fargo’s 160th birthday, for not paying their taxes in their community and foreclosing on our homes,” said Terri Buttleman, a paraprofessional in the West Saint Paul schools who attended the rally. “We have a bill in the legislature called ‘Minnesota, pay back our kids’. If these loopholes were closed, we would have enough revenue in the next five years to pay back the shifts in school over the last couple years.”