350 Seattle, the Rainforest Action Network, and several other organizations are planning a day of action against Chase Bank, the largest funder of dirty fossil fuel infrastructure in the world, on April 10th. Last week I attended a meeting in Seattle to help plan for this action.

The plan is to demonstrate to Chase that we are able to disrupt business at a large number of locations. Activists in at least 18 cities are planning to participate in this action. In Seattle, they intend to visit and disrupt business in all 44 Chase branches in the Seattle area. A number of action/affinity groups were formed at the meeting I attended. Each group will visit 6 to 8 branches, and each group will choose its own method of disrupting the branches they are covering. One group is mostly musicians, so they plan to enter the bank with their instruments to play and sing. (Loudly, I hope. And off key!) Another group is planning to have parties in each bank branch, complete with party hats, to “celebrate” Chase Bank being named the Number 1 funder of dirty fossil fuels. There was also some discussion of presenting a trophy to Chase Bank for this “accomplishment.” One group is planning to bring wind turbines and solar panels into the branches they visit, while another group will wear hazmat suits to call attention to Chase’s “toxic assets.” Each group will have literature to pass out both inside and outside the Chase branches, and activists will deliver a letter to the manager of each branch. It is expected the action groups will spend 5 or 10 minutes at each Chase location.

It was mentioned at the meeting that the organizers of this event feel there is only a very small chance that anybody will be arrested, and in fact, there’s a good chance that Chase may just lock up their branches, in which case we will declare victory and go home. Nevertheless, each activist will be asked to fill out a form with information needed in case of arrest: whether or not they would like to be bailed out of jail, if they need any prescription meds while in jail, who to inform if they are arrested, and so on.

Each group will have a police liaison, a media spokesperson, a photographer and social media coordinator, and a “voice of the action”: somebody who will do most of the talking. I volunteered to document my group’s actions with photos and videos, and post them on social media. Each group will also have an arts coordinator, and most groups will have an art build session prior to April 10. 350 Seattle has a space in Fremont they often use for art builds, and they usually have art materials on hand for those who wish to make signs, puppets, or other props for their action.

About 70 people attended this meeting, and it felt good to be in a room full of like-minded and committed activists. Many of them had previously participated in similar actions, and there was a lot of reminiscing about previous actions: “Remember the time we dropped that banner from the overpass?” and so on. I am looking forward to participating in disrupting a half dozen Chase Bank branches on April 10!

Interested in participating?  Find the action nearest to you and sign up here: