What a perfect day for a protest! Public Citizen’s Robert Weissman and SEIU’s Andy Stern rallied the crowd in front of the Capitol Hill headquarters of Goldman Sachs. Our message? Break up the banks.
Several speakers and numerous signs at the protest called for Congress to break up the “too big to fail” banks – a proposal that’s actually gaining some traction on Capitol Hill.
Some of the banks have gotten too big for the health of the economy and for American democracy, proclaimed Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, a government watchdog group.
“That’s the message: Break them up!” he yelled, the crowd following with several rounds of chanting that message.
Numerous Public Citizen activists turned out, holding high our protest signs demanding “Put people before Wall Street profits” and “Don’t let the banks drive us off another cliff.”
Meanwhile, our new report on Wall Street firms’ donations to Congressional re-election campaigns raises serious questions about where our elected representatives will stand.
While Congress has debated legislation to reform Wall Street, the financial services industry has showered members of the Senate and House banking committees with about two and a half times as much money, on average, as other members of Congress, according to a new Public Citizen report.
The industry – including banks, investment firms, insurance companies and real estate companies – has given $42 million in campaign contributions to lawmakers and their leadership political action committees since the current election cycle began in November 2008. The industry has concentrated its contributions on members of the House and Senate banking and the congressional leadership, the report showed.
We’re keeping up the pressure and fighting to hold Congress accountable (and you can help us keep up the fight by writing your senators and representatives). Their job is to represent the people, and we’ll continue to hold their feet to the fire to make them stand with the people, not the corporate financial industry.