Women Dump Garbage From Foreclosed Home At Bank Of America Offices

CHICAGO (CBS) — Five women – the eldest 80 years old – were arrested Tuesday afternoon for dumping garbage in front of the Bank of America Chicago offices downtown in a protest.

The women were protesting over the buildup of trash at vacant buildings in Chicago, which were foreclosed and are now held by Bank of America.

They dumped the garbage in bags in front of the Bank of America building at 135 S. LaSalle St.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports

The protesters, from the group Action Now, point to the city’s new Vacant Property Ordinance, which holds banks responsible for securing and boarding up their vacant, foreclosed properties got the lenders to pay attention.

“Since Bank of America will not go to Chicago’s neighborhoods and clean-up their vacant properties, Action Now members are bringing the neighborhood destruction to the bank,” the group said in a news release.

The women cleaned up a vacant property at 3328 W. Monroe St. in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, and dropped off the trash at the bank, while others marched outside and held signs.

The action led to the arrests of five women – Gloria Washington, 80; Annie Harris, 76; Doris Strickland, 68; Madeline Talbott, 61; and Donna Roberts, 56, the group said.

“The well-being of customers and employees is our number one concern, and numerous steps have been taken to ensure their safety. There were no injuries as a result of today’s actions,” Bank of America officials said in a prepared statement Tuesday afternoon. “As a general rule, if an individual or group is on bank property and does not have any bank business, they may be asked to leave. This is especially true if customers or employees feel intimidated or threatened. In certain instances, we will reach out to local law enforcement for their assistance as was the case today.”

Information from police was not immediately available.

Action Now said the women were taken to the lockup at the Central District police station.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration recently drafted a new version of the Vacant Property Ordinance, with what sponsor Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) says better delineates the responsibilities of the banks.

The original ordinance introduced a legal definition of a “mortgagee” – a bank or other entity that holds a mortgage on a property – as a property owner that is required to handle routine maintenance.

This meant the banks would be responsible for such actions as boarding up entrances, responding to complaints about a building, and keeping the lawn mowed and the snow shoveled.

Through the course of last year, the Department of Buildings had to tear down or board up more than 500 buildings, which accounted for $13.7 million in expenses. The Department of Streets and Sanitation also had to perform upkeep on 1,963 vacant buildings and tear down 345 empty garages, at a cost of $1.8 million.

Mayor Emanuel is hoping for eventual statewide legislation.

  • James Huerkamp

    send the bill to to the banks that hold the mortgages.

  • john

    I don’t care much for the ding- bat protests that enthrall the news media; but these ladies tickle my fancy. Nice goring girls.

  • Greg Olson

    I hope they make an example out of these old geezers. Their behavior is dispicable. Maybe who ever is responsible for building up the trash to begin with should also be arrested.

    • Tom Smith

      I agree, these old bats should feel ashamed of themselves. Instead of trashing the bank, they should be confronting those who are dumping the garbage.

      • bob henning

        You are despicable and you`re an AMORAL ASS to Boot. They DUMPED THE GARBAGE EXACTLY WHERE IT BELONGED. BAC is a Ruthless bunch of Un American Pricks who never give one seconds thought about People. If it doesn`t have a Picture of a President on it then IT AIN`T WORTH NOTHING.

  • peter scott

    Again why are the taxpayers of chicago bpaying the expenses of the banks!

  • citizens

    They didn’t clean because they were on that cruise ship with them bonuses they got from those foreclosed homes. Bank of Americrooks!

    • Estella

      Awesome Reply… Greedy Bank Of Americrooks ! I can’t wait for a class action suit to follow for all the people that BOA did wrong and Foreclosed peoples homes. It is going to happen real soon. Lots of people were hoping for there modifications. People are angry and they should be because it is going to get worse……. Lawyers can’t even help these people because they say we can’t fight the Banks. Believe me I tried and will still try. Don’t believe BOA they are liars all the way up the ladder to the CEO’s and Fannie Mae is with them too. To all the people that think they are getting a modification thru BOA don’t believe them ! I blame our Government for letting the Banks do this to us Americas that work so hard and lost there jobs and now there homes. Our Government does more for illegal aliens then they do for us true Americans. Shame on our Politicians and our President that says he is helping this economy and trying to fix what the Banks are doing, he needs to do more. I loved what these ladies did.. I hope people keep fight back to win this war and to get our Country back and stay true to us true Americans that know what our Fathers fought for! We True American need to keep Freedom of Speech alive and speak loud so that we the people can be heard ! I could go on and on….another war is what we need, it is the only way to fight for our rights and Freedom WE THE PEOPLE need to stand together and fight. You 5 ladies are True Americans that weren’t afraid even if it meant getting arrested. You Go Girls!

  • Centurion

    These women did more in 5 minutes..than those idiot protesters have done all week.

  • Natalie

    IS not just Afro American is everyone. You might next.They are not looking for hand outs they looking for justice.

  • Eric Hollowell

    “The well-being of customers and employees is our number one concern, This is the biggest line of bull.

  • Eric Hollowell

    “The well-being of customers and employees is our number one concern,
    This is the biggest line of bull Bank Against America has put out yet.

  • Sammy

    Good for them! Bank of America is as crooked as they get.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live