Twenty-one people were arrested as about 3,000 demonstrators converged on a Bank of America Corp. (BAC) office building in downtown Boston yesterday, protesting the largest U.S. lender’s foreclosure practices.
Some participants were taken into custody after entering the building’s lobby and refusing to leave, said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. Those arrested were charged with trespassing, according to Officer Eddy Chrispin, a police spokesman.
The crowd had marched a half-mile from Boston Common to the building at 100 Federal Street while chanting, banging on drums and toting signs that read “Stop Corporate Greed” and “Bank of America: Guilty as Charged.”
The rally was organized by Right to the City Alliance and follows demonstrations in Manhattan, known as #OccupyWallStreet, which began 14 days ago to protest the influence of Wall Street money on politics. A second Boston protest group, Occupy Boston, held a rally at Dewey Square later, and from there protesters from both events made their way to the statehouse, according to Chrispin.
T.J. Crawford, a spokesman for Bank of America, called the protests “aggressive public-relations stunts.”
“Bank of America has a lot to be proud of in Massachusetts, from modifying 18,000 mortgages since 2008 to lending nearly $400 million in the first half of 2011 to small businesses,” he said.
Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America is the largest U.S. lender by assets.
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