On March 15th, 2010, Washington Community Action Network and close to 100 protesters chanted outside of Chase’s headquarters in downtown Seattle, demanding that the company and other big Wall Street banks pay their fair share to help maintain crucial state services.
In Washington State, there is a $67 million tax loophole from which Chase and other big out-of-state banks hugely benefit. This year, as so many people struggle to find and keep employment while managing everyday expenses like housing, health care, food and education, powerful banking lobbyists in Olympia are spending huge amounts of money to keep their $67 million tax break. Meanwhile, vital community services and jobs are being slashed because of the state’s budget shortfall.
“Our state lawmakers need to send Wall Street banks a clear message by closing this outdated $67 million tax loophole that Chase and other big out-of-state banks take advantage of,” said Al Link of the Washington State Labor Council, who emceed the protest. “Our lawmakers have to protect the future of Washington by funding health care and education services that people are depending on during this recession.”
The demonstration received a great deal of spirited responses from passersby. “It’s amazing to see such a wide spectrum of people who care about these issues,” said one protestor. “We are seeing everyone from truck drivers to people in fancy, expensive cars honking and waving. It’s clear that people are not happy about how the banks have treated us, especially after getting $700 billion dollars of our tax money.”
Protest demands for Chase included:
- Stop refusing to pay your fair share which will help restore the jobs you destroyed.
- Stop fighting financial reform.
- Start lending to small businesses and others starved for credit in the communities in which you do business.
- In Washington State, stop demanding even more tax giveaways at a time when working families are struggling and important state services are being slashed.