April 23 Charlotte, NC Today activists with Asheville Rising Tide, Rainforest Action Network, and Croatan Earth First! hit the streets of Charlotte, NC to protest Bank of America’s annual shareholders meeting. Bank of America has seen an escalating level of protest in the past year for its funding of the coal industry. Bank of America has provided billions of dollars in loans to companies including Massey Energy, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources which are responsible for the practice of mountaintop removal coal mining in southern Appalachia. In addition Bank of America is funding a number of new coal plants including Duke Energy’s Cliffside power plant in Western North Carolina.
Outside the meeting, activists held banners reading, “Bank of America: Funding Coal, Killing Communities”, and erected a giant smokestack that read, “No New Coal.” An effigy of CEO Ken Lewis with coal spilling out of his belly was also unveiled. On the inside a number of people, including two Kentucky coalfield residents affected by mountaintop removal, hammered Lewis with questions about BoA’s funding of the coal industry. Lewis became visibly frustrated in front of the packed room of investors as he dodged question after question.
Asheville Rising Tide and its allies are going to keep up the fight against Bank of America until they divest all their money from the coal industry.