For Immediate Release
Happy Valentine’s Day: We’re Breaking Up. Student Organizations Break Up with Big Banks
WASHINGTON - Three major student activist organizations recently passed resolutions to move their money from banks implicated in predatory lending, student loan profiteering, and right-wing political activities.
As pressure to demand accountability from banks grows nationwide, the United States Student Association and two of their largest affiliates the University of California Student Association, and the United Council of University of Wisconsin Students are leading the charge and moving almost $3 million in student money away from large banks that profit off our student debt. Bank of America, US Bank, M & I Bank, and Wells Fargo are giving out predatory loans to recent graduates buying homes, trying to buy our democracy with lobbying efforts, and are some of today’s top predatory student loan lenders, helping be a key driver in pushing student loan debt to the $1 trillion mark in 2012.
“We’re sending a message that we will no longer tolerate the economic injustices these banks have played a role in creating,” said Chris Hicks, the National Student Labor Action Project Coordinator. “These are the banks that crashed our economy, took bailout money and used it for their CEO bonuses while leaving American families stuck picking up the tab.”
Universities and colleges have also followed suite; Peralta Community College, which administers four campuses and over 50,000 students, voted on December 15, 2011 to divest as much of its $140 million trust as possible from large banks and move this money to local finance institutions, as well as University of California – Berkeley, who also recently voted to divest their funds from US Bank.
“The movement to ‘Move Your Money’ has just begun, and the United States Student Association will expand this list as we fight for students, until these banks and other large financial institutions pay their fair share to rebuild our economy,” said Victor Sanchez Jr., President of the United States Student Association. “We are excited to work with New Bottom Line in the ‘Move Our Money’ campaign, and at the end of the day these banks will know we are well organized movement.”
Jobs with Justice is a national network of local coalitions that bring together labor unions, faith groups, community organizations, and student activists to fight for working people. It works with 47 coalitions in 24 states across the country. More information can be found at their website www.jwj.org.