Connect to share and comment

Bank of America annual meeting draws 100s of protesters

Hundreds protested in front of the bank's corporate headquarters in Charlotte, NC, today.

Bank of america ceo 2012 03 28Enlarge
Bank of America chief executive officer Brian Moynihan during a debate at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos on Jan. 25, 2012. (ERIC PIERMONT /AFP/Getty Images)

Hundreds protested in front of the annual Bank of America shareholders meeting at the firm’s corporate headquarters in Charlotte, NC, today, USA Today reported.

Police arrested four people who crossed a police line in an attempt to get into the meeting, USA Today reported. Otherwise, the protest was orderly, with demonstrators brandishing signs like “Stop Corporate Greed” and chanting, “we are the 99 percent.”

More from GlobalPost: Bank of America plans to cut 2,000 jobs, targeting highly paid bankers

Using a new ordinance, Charlotte police declared the protest an extraordinary event, CNN reported. According to USA Today:

That allowed authorities to designate areas where people aren't allowed to carry backpacks, magic markers and other items.

Organizers of the protest said they expected the event would draw more demonstrators than similar protests held outside the shareholder meetings of Wells Fargo and General Electric, CNN reported.

More from GlobalPost: Hundreds of protesters converge on Wells Fargo annual meeting in San Francisco

"We see Bank of America as the worst of the worst," Amanda Starbuck, a director at the environmental advocacy group Rainforest Action Network, which helped organized the protests, told CNN. "There's a lot of momentum around Bank of America."

During the two-hour meeting, at least 20 shareholders spoke, many representing activist groups. They complained about the bank’s foreclosure practices, its investments in payday lenders and even its loans to coal producers, the New York Times reported.

Despite the high emotions, shareholders overwhelming voted in favor of CEO Brian Moynihan’s $7 million 2011 pay package, the New York Times reported.

More from GlobalPost: Pay quadrupled for Brian Moynihan, Bank of America CEO

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120509/bank-america-bofa-annual-meeting-protest