Hundreds of Minnesotans marched Friday afternoon from Peavey Plaza on the Nicolet Mall in downtown Minneapolis to tell Wells Fargo and other major banks, “Don’t Foreclose on the American Dream.” They also presented the banks with a mock bill for $150 billion — “due immediately” — to compensate for federal bailout money the banks received.
“Minnesotans from all walks of life are asking that major banks like Wells Fargo pay their fair share of taxes to protect public services, invest in good jobs and health care for all, and take positive steps to fix the foreclosure crisis,” said the Rev. Grant Stevensen, the Pastor of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, President of ISAIAH and spokesperson for Friday’s march.
Since the march was first announced by Minnesotans for a Fair Economy and a coalition of faith, labor and community groups, the Occupy Wall Street movement has galvanized attention to inequality and the excessive political clout of Wall Street and the super-rich.
The march enjoyed the support of a diverse coalition, including OccupyMN, the Minnesota AFL-CIO, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), the International Brotherhood of Electrician Workers Minnesota State Council (IBEW), ISAIAH, Jobs Now Coalition, Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace, Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG), Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), TakeAction Minnesota, United Food & Commercial Workers Local (UFCW) 1189, and the Welfare Rights Committee.
The marchers demanded that Wells Fargo fix the loans of two families who are facing foreclosure or struggling with unaffordable home loans: Malcolm LeFever and his wife Cheryl Downey. The marchers asked that Wells Fargo meet with the LeFever/Downey family and Sheronda Orridge, a Saint Paul homeowner, to reach an agreement to that will allow them pay their mortgages at a fair rate and keep their homes.