Ex-Obama Czar, Religious Leaders Rally Public To Ditch Big Banks

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Local religious leaders are joining civil rights activists in an effort to get customers to take their cash out of the nation’s biggest banks in response to what they claim is unethical behavior.

KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports a former official from the Obama administration is among those rallying the public ahead.

Former White House environmental adviser Van Jones with “Rebuild The Dream” protested on Tuesday alongside a large group of rabbis, priests, nuns, ministers and imams outside a Bank of America branch in downtown Los Angeles.

The rally comes ahead of “Move Your Money Day” this Saturday, an effort that looks to punish banks like BofA despite its recent decision to drop a $5 monthly fee for debit card use.

Jones said there are credit unions and community banks that can offer better customer service than the big ones.

“If I say I’m going to commit an act of highway robbery, and then say, ‘Well, now I’m not going to,’ that doesn’t make me a good person,” said Jones. “It’s too little, too late.”

Jones was fired in Sept. 2009 from his role as the president’s “green” jobs czar over controversial comments he made suggesting the U.S. government may have had a role in plotting the 9/11 attacks and calling former President George W. Bush a “crackhead”.

Protester Shakeel Sayeed with the Southern California Islamic Council said at least one Southland population is beginning to heed the call to punish the banks.

“We already have instructed our community members and our mosques to move their money,” said Sayeed.


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