Wells Fargo offices locked down as marchers block streets to stop foreclosures

Community, labor, faith coalition joins OccupyMN to demand Wall Street “pay us back”

Six hundred Minnesotans, including dozens of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members, marched in downtown Minneapolis on Friday to the offices of USbank and Wells Fargo to demand that the big banks pay their fair share, invest in good jobs and fix the foreclosure crisis.

The protestors, marching under the banner “Don’t Foreclose on the American Dream” linked arms and sat down in the street in front of the Wells Fargo offices in downtown Minneapolis while a delegation sought a dialog with bank officials, who had locked down their building and skyways as the crowd approached.

“We came here to together today to ask that major banks like Wells Fargo pay their fair share 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. “We have asked them to take a first step by meeting with two families that have tried to arrange reasonable adjustments to their mortgages. They’d rather shut down the bank than talk with us. That’s not right.”

At USBank the marchers dropped off a giant tax bill for the $150 billion they say big banks should have paid in taxes, but avoided through loopholes and deductions.[1]

“The big banks crashed our economy and foreclosed on our homes. We bailed them out and now they want us to take more cuts they refuse to pay their fair share. People are hurting across the board, and folks in the African American neighborhoods are hit hardest, ‘” said Sol Marshall, a member of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), one of the organizations sponsoring the march.

The marchers wanted the chance to talk to Wells Fargo officials about the cases of the meets 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.

On Thursday, a fifty person by Minnesotans for a Fair Economy won a commitment from USBank officials to work on modifying the loan of John Vinji, of Bloomington Minnesota. Vinji had been trying unsuccessfully to communicate with the bank about a modification for months.

Over the past week delegations of between 50 and 250 citizens, including dozens of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members, delivered letters to USBank, Wells Fargo and other major financial institutions asking their CEOs to meet with community representatives to address their concerns.

The March to Save the American Dream was organized by Minnesotans for a Fair Economy and: 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 AFL-CIO, Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG), Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), OccupyMN, Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), TakeAction Minnesota, United Food & Commercial Workers Local (UFCW) 1189, and the Welfare Rights Committee.

Learn more at: www.mnfaireconomy.org – www.facebook.com/FairMN – #mnfaireconomy

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