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Protesters Dump Trash at Bank of America President's Beacon Hill Home

Upset over Bank of America's foreclosure practices, protesters dump trash in front of Robert Gallery's Beacon Street home.

A Charlestown-based coalition led helped organize a Bank of America protest on Wednesday, where participants dumped several bags of garbarge at a bank president's home on Beacon Hill.

Participants hauled several bags of garbage from at a foreclosed Bank of America property in Malden to the site, and left them outside president Robert Gallery's home -- they were unloading fury. The event was organized by MassUniting, which is based in Charlestown.

"We're here today because of the loan-servicing abuse that's going on in America," Antonio Ennis, of Dorchester, announced through a bullhorn in front of Gallery's 95 Beacon St. home before listing demands the bank must meet to avoid a large protest scheduled at their downtown headquarters Sept. 30.

Demands include that the bank:

  • Halt all foreclosures and evictions until underwater mortgages can be renegotiated.
  • Stop the crackdown on small business lending.
  • Rescind its proposed mass layoffs and take steps to protect and create Massachusetts jobs. 
  • End its board members' policies that exclude Bay State families from key programs like weatherization.

The trash deposited in front of Gallery's home came from a property that has remained vacant for a year at 56 Clinton St., Malden. Bank of America evicted a young family from the house last year and, neighbors say, let the property fall into disrepair. The city fined the bank $500 for keeping the property vacant.

A dozen or so volunteers gathered 10 bags of garbage from the property Monday and delivered it to Bank of America's Malden branch office. The bank manager refused to accept it, so they decided to take it to Gallery's home. 

Gallery, president of the bank's Massachusetts operations, did not appear to be at home, but bank spokesman T.J. Crawford told Patch this afternoon that the bank does not "approve of any PR stunt that invades the privacy of a bank employee and their family."

"Rather than refute this group’s baseless claims with facts, let me simply state that Bank of America has a lot to be proud of in Massachusetts, from providing $12 million in charitable giving annually to lending $393 million in the first half of 2011 to small businesses that are creating jobs and fueling the local economy," Crawford said.

Activists from area nonprofits – including MASSUNITING; City Life/Vida Urbana, of Jamaica Plain; and Lynn United for Change – held a different view of the bank's impact on Massachusetts communities.

"Too many have been thrown out of their homes because Bank of America insists on evicting people after foreclosure instead of finding a way to avoid foreclosure in the first place," Isaac Simon Hodes, an organizer for Lynn United for Change, said.

Claudia Thompson, a single mother in Malden, recently avoided foreclosure by a different bank and came out to support those who lost their homes in Bank of America proceedings.

"I want people to let people know that they don't have to just stay quiet and take it," Thompson said. "We're asking for the bank to cooperate."

Meanwhile, protesters marched on Wall Street over the weekend to protest the control big business and financial institutions have on Congress.

Mary Doherty September 22, 2011 at 03:59 AM
Who says that MassUniting is based in Charlestown?
Kristi Ceccarossi September 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM
MassUniting does! Their office is in the Bunker Hill Industrial Park.
Joseph September 22, 2011 at 03:17 PM
I'm so tired of people blaming others for their own problems. Did they do the necessary research before they took out a mortgage? Probably not, so obviously, it's not their problem. Did the banks make it easy to get a mortgage, a little too easy, it seems they did, but are they really the ones to blame? In my opinion, I don't think so. Chances are, the mortgage companies that gave these idiots a mortgage are out of business now and BofA bought the scraps. These protesters should be arrested for harassment. Their problems are with the bank, not the person. Can't they be cited for littering?
Whitney September 22, 2011 at 05:32 PM
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan made over $20 million last year--in one year!!-- because his company used fancy tricks that packaged bad mortgages (likely to default because the credit scores of the borrowers were low) to sell to gullible investors at a huge profit for BoA. When the mortgages inevitably defaulted and the investors couldn't get their money back, the economy crashed (remember that in 2008?) and the banks begged for a bailout from taxpayers to get back on their feet. Then Brian Moynihan made $20 million at the CEO and we all lived happily ever after. Oh wait, except that evicted family and the folks who now have to live next to an house owned and neglected by BoA. The question is not who's more at fault for the mess. The question is who's profiting from the mess? It's Bank of America, not the foreclosed family or their neighbors!
Seamus O'Sullivan September 22, 2011 at 10:00 PM
did you seriously delete my comment?
Kristi Ceccarossi September 23, 2011 at 02:17 AM
What was your comment, Seamus?
Joseph September 23, 2011 at 01:20 PM
deleted my response to whitney as well. also, why doesn't the site "remember me" when it's checked off?
Daniel Marcella September 23, 2011 at 01:35 PM
Kristi I have had comments deleted as well. (Granted, only a couple.) But I try to be civil and never use invective.
Kristi Ceccarossi September 23, 2011 at 01:40 PM
Weird. It's possible they were deleted by other editors or flagged by users. In general, I would encourage you all to be compassionate in your comments. These are often your neighbors you're talking to. Anything you wouldn't say to a person's face shouldn't be posted.
Daniel Marcella September 23, 2011 at 01:49 PM
Ok; well I use my full name, and I have been living here since the day I was born. I come from a large family of Charlestown-raised townies, so I have nothing to hide:D
Seamus O'Sullivan September 23, 2011 at 01:53 PM
Kristi I understand the need and desire for civility but often times people have strong opinions on certain issues, which I think should be allowed to be heard (or in our case seen) - so long as there's no name calling or personal attacks. People come to sites like Patch to engage in discussion and debate with their neighbors over issues pertaining to them locally. As soon as you start censoring responses, it becomes a less effective tool for doing that.
Joseph September 23, 2011 at 02:16 PM
Will the editors that removed my/our post please explain yourselves? Thank you.
Joseph September 23, 2011 at 02:22 PM
”…and the folks who now have to live next to an house owned and neglected by BoA.” Are you bothered that people were evicted for making stupid decisions or are you upset that your house is located next to a vacant property and that you aren’t profiting from this?? I don’t think I ever read that the banks begged for a bailout. The government didn’t have a choice in the matter. I’m pretty certain the automobile companies/unions didn’t complain when they were bailed out..x2. And if you have any clue as to what you are talking about, you would know that BofA is in a world of $hit, as with most financial institutions and governments. Also, please show me $20million salary? http://people.forbes.com/profile/brian-t-moynihan/10059.
Kristi Ceccarossi September 23, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Hi folks -- for the record, I haven't censored any comments. I'm sorry if something you've posted has been deleted. Please feel free to post again.
Jason A. Stephany September 27, 2011 at 11:04 PM
Kristi is correct. MassUniting is headquartered in the Bunker Hill Industrial Park. We opened up our office here earlier this year.
Fred Garvin September 28, 2011 at 03:19 AM
Bank of America has a 100-foot tsunami of underperforming loans. Brace yourselves ...
Killshot September 29, 2011 at 02:04 PM
Adam Sandler made $40 million this year - in one year. Guess what he made last year? $40-$50 million. The year before? $55 million. In 2003, he was paid $25 million for Anger Management alone - an absolutely awful movie. Of course, that's nothing in comparison with the $257 million that James Cameron pulled in last year, over $4 million of which was for work that was completed years before. How many families are these entertainers helping to buy homes? How many small businesses are they funding? If we're going to engage in class warfare, why aren't we targetting the entertainers who provide no value to society outside of distracting Americans from addressing the real problems?

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