Occupy Houston is again taking direct action, scheduling a Divestment March for Friday.
The group will assemble at 9 a.m. at Tranquility Park before marching on four nearby banking institutions in downtown Houston — Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Amegy. Protestors will spend 30 minutes at each bank, picketing outside and encouraging people to close out accounts along the way.
Upon returning to camp, local credit unions will (hopefully) conduct group banking and lunch will (hopefully) be served, "pending suitable donations." Protestors will also cut credit cards and take part in a post-march pep rally and news briefing.
Incensing activist and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore will be at Brazos Bookstore on Friday to promote his new book, Here Comes Trouble, and Occupy Houston received word that he may take the opportunity to speak at our hometown rally. Organizers seem to welcome the news, and Moore doesn't see any inconsistency in his position as a member of "the one percent" sitting in with the other 99.
This Houston march is in solidarity with the national Nov. 5 Bank Transfer Day and the Move Your Money project, which aim to transfer money from Wall Street to Main Street. Mass re-investment is a way for individuals to shift from passively complaining to "voting with their dollars" in the words of the project's leaders.
Ideally, the taken-out funds will be enough to make an impression on the big banks. Realistically, many of those involved in the movement are unemployed or underemployed, burdened by student debt, living month-to-month with paltry savings.
If protestors in Houston and beyond can successfully take the issue to a larger audience, convincing local businesses and city governments to make the switch, the effect will be far greater.
Have you taken your money out of the big banks? Do you plan to disinvest?