Health Care for America Now (HCan)
Six members of a group protesting what they called a bank's slow pace on processing a loan modification for a St. Louis couple were arrested for trespassing December 20, 2010. About 80 people gathered on the sidewalk outside the 7800 Forsyth Boulevard branch of Bank of America at noon and began singing and chanting at bank employees, said Clayton Police Capt. Stephen Grenier. Grenier said the group had been warned by police at the start that the bank did not want them on the premises and were told to stay on the sidewalk. About an hour later, six of the protesters locked arms and began climbing the steps to the bank entrance. They were warned to turn back but refused, telling police they wanted to be arrested, Grenier said. The six were then arrested, charged and released on the misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. "People were clear that they wanted to go to jail for this, absolutely," said Jeff Ordower, a protest organizer and member of the group Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, known as MORE. He said the six chose to go into the bank after officials there failed to make good on a promise to have someone familiar with the modification request talk to the group. MORE, which advocates for groups and individuals on such issues as discrimination, affordable housing and better public services, has held about a dozen similar protests at banks on behalf of families going through unfair foreclosures or poorly handled loan modifications, Ordower said.
- [http://www.stltoday.com/ STL.com, December 20, 2010, Six protesters arrested outside Clayton bank BY NANCY CAMBRIA]