Thursday, April 26, 2012

Huge MI protest of GE's failure to pay taxes

The 99% Spring created some agita for GE at its annual shareholders meeting in Detroit yesterday. A ton of protesters made a ruckus outside while 100 people disrupted the meeting inside. Reuters reports:

Nearly 100 protesters affiliated with the "99 Percent" populist movement disrupted General Electric Co's annual shareholders' meeting on Wednesday in an attack on the largest U.S. conglomerate's low tax rate. 
The demonstrators, who began chanting "Pay Your Fair Share" when the meeting began, were quickly ushered out of the meeting -- held in the Detroit building that houses General Motors Co's headquarters -- but could still be heard chanting protests as the meeting got underway... 
The protesters were part of the "99 Percent" movement, an offshoot of last year's Occupy Wall Street protests. Both are loosely organized around the idea that the U.S. economy no longer serves the needs of most Americans. The "99 Percent" moniker contrasts the average citizen to the nation's wealthiest... 
Taxes are a particularly thorny issue in Detroit, which is facing a severe budget crisis that is leading to sharp cuts in municipal services. 
"We're hoping that huge corporations realize they have to pay their fair share. All of our services need to be paid for, and you have places like GE and Wells Fargo that don't," said Greg Lyons, 40, of Toledo, Ohio. "Citizens pay taxes and if corporations want to be citizens, they better start paying up."
The 99% Spring is targeting shareholder meetings. Yesterday, people were arrested at Well Fargo's annual meeting. Bloomberg reported,

Wells Fargo & Co. shareholders needed police help to enter the bank's annual meeting yesterday in San Francisco as at least 500 people gathered to protest the company's lending and foreclosures. 
Sounds from the street wafted up to the 15th floor of the Merchants Exchange Building across from Wells Fargo's headquarters in the city's financial district, where Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf was interrupted at least four times by shouting. About two dozen were arrested as protesters chained themselves together to block an entrance and others made it inside, chanting as police cleared paths for attendees.
Stay tuned. There'll be lots more of this.