4:06pm

Mon October 3, 2011
Business and the Economy

Pickets Organize Outside Kentucky Banks

Protesters have set up in downtown Lexington and are promising to stay in place until there is real reform in the banking industry.  This afternoon, about a dozen picketers remained outside the Chase J.P. Morgan offices on Main Street.  If necessary, spokesman Greg Capillo says they’re prepared to stay. “As long as the will is here to stay here indefinitely, then we’ll be here indefinitely, and we’ll cross the winter bridge when we get to it.  But, we’re not going to be the only people dealing with that,” said Capillo.

Since pickets were set up last Thursday, Capillo says their grassroots movement has received good support from passers-by.  They blame banks and similar financial institutions for pushing the world into an ongoing economic recession.  The protests are similar to ones conducted in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

“The beautiful thing about this movement is its crowd sourced and open sourced, so everyone is shooting information and ideas all over the internet and we’re tied into that.  And, they’re getting ideas from us, just like we’re getting ideas from them”

In Louisville, local activists convene on Tuesday to support the rapidly growing marches on the financial district in New York City.

Since last month, hundreds of protestors have been demonstrating in lower Manhattan in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. The Canadian anti-capitalist group Adbusters first called for the non-violent demonstration as a way to combat corporate greed, special interests and the influence of money in politics.

The informal group in Louisville began organizing on Facebook and plan to occupy Fourth and Jefferson Streets tomorrow afternoon.

Group spokesman Curtis Morrison says the rally will show solidarity with protestors in New York City and that the movement is about the country’s larger economic disparity and wealth gap.

“I think it’s to put forward an idea that our democracy is not for sale to the highest bidder that corporations do not run this country, that the people should,” he says.

Over the weekend, New York police arrested over 700 protesters for blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Similar protests have sprung up in other cities, including Lexington. Though protestors do not have specific demands, activists have called for the marches to continue until concrete legislative changes and financial reforms are made.

Morrison says the marches are meant to highlight how corporate money is corrupting the country’s political system and that small group control the wealth.

“There’s this word oligarchy, and a lot of people don’t know what that means. It means a 100 people are literally controlling our country,” says Morrison. “And the march is about changing that to where it goes back to what it was meant to be in the beginning where everybody has a say. We don’t have that right now.”

Organizers expect as many as 500 demonstrators to convene on Fourth and Jefferson Streets at noon Tuesday.