Protesters chanting, “Bank of America, bad for America” tried to dump ten plump black garbage bags of trash in a BofA branch in Malden, Massachusetts. The bags contained refuse collected from the yard of a house the bank foreclosed on and let fall into disrepair, becoming a blight in the neighborhood and threatening to drag down property values.
Boston.com reports the protesters spent 15 hours cleaning up the toys, tree branches and regular garbage, as well as an old TV and a fallen rain gutter. They took the bags into the branch, where the manager refused to take delivery. The protesters took the trash back outside and posed for pictures.
“When you have properties next to yours that are rundown it becomes an eyesore and a lot of times we’re judged by the appearance of our neighbors,” a woman who lives near the abandoned property told Boston.com. The group wanted to highlight the toll foreclosed and discarded properties are having on the community. “Bank of America holds the largest number of foreclosed properties in the country, including dozens in Malden,” said the group in a statement. “The company also has one of the worst records of modifying mortgages to help people stay in their homes.”
After the photo op, the group loaded the trash into cars and drove away.
“Maintaining property in our possession is important to us,” a bank spokesperson told Boston.com. “We take our responsibility to neighborhoods very seriously.”
The bank said that people can report any properties that BofA owns and needs to clean up at fieldservices.bankofamerica.com.
In July, a different group of homeowners did the same thing to a Wells Fargo branch in San Jose, CA.