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Opinion

Bay marchers slam lootin' and pollutin'

San Francisco likes to think of itself as the most liberal US city. Every May, for example, the famous Bay to Breakers race takes place.

Many participants run the 7.5 mile course in fancy dress, but there is also an unofficial nude category, which has made the race more of a tourist attraction than it might otherwise be.

Still, at least the nudists tend to run in a conventional direction. Marching backwards up the street is something new. On October 4, 100 environmental and social justice protestors did just that when they demonstrated outside Wells Fargo’s corporate headquarters in Montgomery Street.

The reason? To make their point that the bank’s refusal to follow the other largest banks in the US such as Citigroup, JPMorgan and Bank of America and adopt industry best practice environmental standards was decidedly backward.

“The Wells Fargo wagon is stuck in the past,” says Ilyse Hogue, director of the Global Finance Campaign at Rainforest Action Network. “We are calling on Wells Fargo executives to make issues like global warming, deforestation and the economic drivers causing them a top priority now.”

To ram home their message, protesters at the march also unfurled a three-storey-high banner that proclaimed “Wells Fargo: Lootin’ & Pollutin’ since 1852”.

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