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04.20.11

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Make 'Em Pay

By Leilani Clark


On Monday, April 18, over 200 people protested outside Bank of America's downtown Santa Rosa branch. The crowd was there to draw attention to the fact that in the tax years 2009 and 2010, Bank of America, the nation's largest financial organization, paid exactly zero dollars in taxes. Last year, according to a report by Make Wall Street Pay, Bank of America received a tax refund of $666 million.

Entering the bank on Monday, Tony White and a group of others presented branch employees with a tax bill for money owed to the United States. Linda Gray, an account holder, went in to withdraw all of her money in protest. Erin Weimar, a banker and spokesperson at the bank, offered no comment about Monday's actions.

Retired Piner High School English teacher Bill Vosburg attended the first US Uncut protest in San Francisco in February, as well as the recent Santa Rosa protest. "If we could just get corporations to pay their fair share, California and the country wouldn't be in the state they are in," he said.

Linda Hemenway, Sonoma County Council Coordinator for MoveOn.org, said that 196 people officially signed up for the "Day of Action," but that more had definitely shown up.

"We've hit a nerve with this subject," she said. "We may not agree on everything, but we do agree that the wealthy should be paying taxes," said Hemenway.


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