5/2/13 Update: Bill Moyers has picked up the story of the Home Defender’s heroic actions and included as part of his 3-part series about people across the country are fighting back against the big banks entitled “Banks on the Run.” Check out the coverage and learn more about the action by clicking the link below!
WELLS FARGO CAN RUN BUT THEY CAN’T HIDE: Home Defenders follow bankers to their annual meeting.
This past week, Home Defenders League members from ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment) traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to confront Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf as he presided over his company’s shareholder meeting.
The action was a part of an ongoing campaign targeting Wells Fargo for their reluctance to commit to widespread principal reduction that would help keep families in their homes and restart the economy.
Inside of the meeting, Stumpf explained how, in his eyes, he and the bank were doing a fine job in helping homeowners. Not surprisingly, the experience of homeowners throughout the county differs greatly from the picture that Stumpf painted. Earlier this year, ACCE released a report on the damage that Wells Fargo is causing communities in California. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REPORT.
As Stumpf tried to move the meeting forward, he was confronted by angry homeowners and activists. “John Stumpf, you are a liar and a crook, and are stealing homes in my neighborhood”, shouted Makayla Major, and ACCE member from East Oakland. When she was surrounded by security, Manuela Alvarez stood and shouted “John Stumpf, you are stealing my home, and the homes of thousands of other hard working families. It’s time for you to be held accountable!”
One after another, more people rose to confront Stumpf, who was eventually read a citizens arrest warrant by Melvin Willis, an ACCE member from Richmond. Eventually, all HDL members and allies were removed from the meeting by security.
After being removed from the meeting, HDL members, accompanied by students and local allies, took their message to several local Wells Fargo branches, then reconvened in front of the site of the shareholder meeting for a rally and press conference.
One message was sent very clearly to John Stumpf – you can run, but you can’t hide! Home Defenders are committed to keep the pressure on Wells Fargo until their major campaign demands are met:
- Offer principal reduction with all modifications where they have the legal authority to do so.
- Report all foreclosure and relief data by race, income and zip code
- Halt all foreclosures and evictions until demands #1 and #2 are in place.
After taking the fight to Wells Fargo in Salt Lake City, Home Defenders are gearing up to confront Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama Adminitration over their failure to hold Wall Street accountable through their policy of Too Big to Jail. We’ll be going to DC from May 18-23, along with over 200 other embattled homeowners, to hold a week of dramatic non-violent actions aimed at reminding President Obama that, while many homeowners are still reeling from the financial crisis, he has yet to prosecute a single Wall Street banker.
You can read more about our Week of Action (and even sign up to go!) HERE.