By Elizabeth DiNovella on November 04, 2011

A handful of people marched to Chase bank on Madison's Capitol Square this afternoon. The small but spirited bunch -- many of whom are involved with Occupy Madison -- stood in the day's bright sunshine on the sidewalk across from the bank. Inside the bank's lobby, a security guard watched with arms crossed.

"I feel strongly that society has been taken over by the monied elite," says longtime activist Jeff Gransby who was at the protest. "They've destroyed the middle class, leaving the lower class and homeless to fend for themselves."

Today's actions are a run up to tomorrow's Bank Transfer Day. People are being asked to move their money out of Wall Street banks and into community banks and credit unions.

Madison Protest

But it's not just individuals who are moving their money. The New Bottom Line reports that this week "L.A. Voice, a coalition of clergy leaders representing 30,000 people from churches, synagogues, and mosques in California pledged to move $2 million and end a collective 200 years of business with Bank of America and Wells Fargo."

The Move Your Money campaign started in 2010 but has been revived thanks to the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Will the banks get the message? They've backpedaled on recent debit card fees.

And as FireDogLake reports, since September 29, when Chase announced its now-defunct debit card fee, 650,000 people moved their money to credit union. "That's more in a little over a month than in all of 2010 combined. And that's just credit unions, it doesn't count community banks."

Investing in one's own community is always a good idea, especially now.

If you liked this story by Elizabeth DiNovella, the Culture Editor of The Progressive magazine, check out her story "Occupied Oakland Destroyed but a New Camp Will Arise."

Follow Elizabeth DiNovella @lizdinovella on Twitter.


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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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