by Ana McKenzie
Anyone driving by Bank of America Stadium this morning got a glimpse of the first of many protests leading up to the ones expected at the Duke and BofA shareholder meetings tomorrow and next Wednesday, respectively, in Charlotte.
Five members of the Rainforest Action Network dangled a 70-foot by 25-foot banner with the words "Bank of Coal" off the stadium at about 6:30 a.m. to call attention to the bank's financial support - about $6.7 billion, RAN says - of the coal industry. The activity in Charlotte is part of a nationwide effort of environmental, labor and Occupy groups to protest outside - and sometimes inside - corporate shareholder meetings this year. About 1,000 are expected to attend BofA's meeting.
According to a RAN press release:
"Today, Rainforest Action Network has taken our message to extraordinary heights because the risk that coal poses to our health and our climate is nothing less than extraordinary. It's past time Bank of America take a leadership role in transitioning our economy away from this dangerous and outdated industry," said Todd Zimmer, a lifelong Charlotte resident and organizer with Rainforest Action Network.
Visit clclt.com for a full recap of tomorrow's and next Wednesday's events, and follow us on Twitter (@cl_charlotte) for updates during each protest.