Sunday, October 25th, 2009 -- 10:18 pm
The annual American Bankers Association meeting in Chicago is not going as planned.
Besieged by activists from the Service Employees International Union, the AFL-CIO and Americans for Financial Reform, the leaders of America's financial sector were interrupted Sunday night as a throng of protesters poured into the conference area and began to chant.
The meeting, scheduled to continue through Tuesday, will feature "[exceptional] speakers like FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and political commentator George Will," the ABA's site announced.
"All we wanted to do was deliver a letter to the Wall Street bankers to let them know how much they've hurt our communities - and what they need to do to clean up their act," the SEIU's blog declared. "They wouldn't listen to us. They kicked us out. But, the bad news for them is that we'll be back. We're not going to leave after tonight. In fact, more and more people are coming to Chicago in the next 48 hours. What started as a thousand people tonight will continue to grow up until Tuesday when more than 5,000 taxpayers march on the ABA and demand an end to Wall Street greed."
Instead of delivering a letter, they shouted their message. "Bust up big banks!" activists chanted. When police confronted a senior who was damning the ABA over a loudspeaker, the crowd shifted into cries of "Shame on you! Shame on you!"