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US Uncut crashes Bank of America investor meeting


March 11, 2011

US Uncut crashes Bank of America investor meeting

Publicly shames Bank for being a Corporate Tax Dodger

NEW YORK – At the first Bank of America Investor Conference in three years, US Uncut organizers boldly unfurled a banner reading “Tax Dodger” while Bank of America executives spoke to hedge fund managers, institutional investors, & asset managers.

YouTube video shows US Uncut organizer Ryan Clayton shouting at bank executives: “Bank of America: Pay your taxes! When you don’t pay your taxes, we have to fire teachers, firefighters and public servants. You’re a Tax Dodger. Bank of America, you’re bad for America. Pay your taxes, tax dodger! Bank of America is a tax dodger. Pay your taxes. Do you pay your taxes? I do. Why doesn’t this company?”

“Bank of America CEO Bryan Moynihan is a corporate welfare queen,” said Clayton after the conference interruption, “If this one company had paid their taxes last year, instead of taking bailouts, we could ‘uncut’ $1.7 Billion dollars in early childhood education (Head Start & Title 1). We pay our taxes, why don’t they?”

US Uncut is a rapidly growing grassroots movement that uses twitter & facebook to stage public protests against corporate tax dodgers and the public service cuts caused by tax avoidance. Recently, its members held protests in 50 cities across the country targeting Bank of America, who profited $4.4 Billion in 2009 and paid zero dollars in income taxes.

After learning that a Bank of America spokesperson had responded to US Uncut’s actions by saying, “Our practice is to follow all relevant tax policies”, Armand Biroonak, a spokesperson for US Uncut DC replied, “If Bank of America pockets Billions in profits and bailouts, but still pays $0 in taxes, then this should be a clear red-flag to our political leaders that someone is gaming the system.”

This latest public embarrassment at their Investor Conference brought about by US Uncut’s recent day of action comes on top of what has already been a bad week for Bank of America. In addition to the 50 US Uncut protests at branches around the country barely a week ago, on Monday the National People’s Action launched a “Make Wall St Pay” campaign with more than 600 homeowners occupying a Bank of America branch in DC, also protesting the company's tax evasion as well as involvement in foreclosure fraud.

US Uncut NYC organizer Marco Ceglie explained why he got involved with the movement: “Before you shut down essential public services and punish middle-class Americans, why not first make the biggest richest corporations pay their fair share in taxes, just like everyone else? In our country, there is a corporate culture of tax avoidance – it is immoral and un-American.”

The US Uncut movement started less than a month ago, inspired by an article in The Nation magazine entitled “How to Build a Progressive Tea Party” that illustrated the rise of anti-austerity movements in the UK. The new movement has experienced an explosive rate of growth, clearly touching a nerve as thousands of Americans have joined in the protests; the message is spreading like populist wildfire across the country.

“The $3 in my wallet is more than ExxonMobil, GE and Bank of America paid in taxes last year, combined," said Carl Gibson, a spokesperson for US Uncut in Mississippi. "Because of overseas tax havens and other tax loopholes, US corporations are making profits in America but barely paying taxes here. If we close those loopholes, we wouldn't have to be cutting back on firefighters, library hours and student loans."

US Uncut CA organizer Joanne Gifford summed it up perfectly, saying, “If corporations paid their fair share, then we could solve every state’s budget crisis without firing one more teacher, balance the federal budget without touching Social Security, and bring down unemployment by putting Americans back to work.”

For more information, please visit http://USuncut.org For pictures and video of previous actions, please see: http://USuncut.org/actions ###

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