The Chase 5? How about the Broadway 2,420

Last Thursday afternoon was an interesting moment in Seattle justice. The Chase 5 — a group of Occupy Seattle protesters who readily admitted they entered a Broadway bank to protest against the financial giant — was found not guilty of trespassing. We don’t recommend the Chase 5’s methods unless you, too, want to give the Seattle Municipal Court legal system a try. But plenty of people on Capitol Hill have found another way to weigh in on the “too big to fail” banking system.

Todd Pietzsch, a representative for BECU tells CHS that membership for the Broadway branch in Capitol Hill increased by 46% from 1,654 members in 2010, to 2,420 members in 2011. Pietzsch said the increase spiked after September 30, 2011, when Bank of America announced a five dollar fee for debit cards — a fee it would eventually back off on after a wave of criticism.

Pietzsch said the allure is better service and how credit unions are operated. “They are owned collectively by their members,” Pietzsch said. “All of the revenue, by definition, has to go back to members.” The results are better interest rates and lower fees, Pietzsch says.

If you’re interested in a banking alternative — and don’t want to deal with any messy Occupy protesting — Capitol Hill options include Salal (originally the Group Health Credit Union) located at 115 15th Avenue,  or BECU (Boeing Employee Credit Union) at 401 Broadway East and the Northwest Baptist Federal CU at 1823 E Madison. You can also check out smaller banks like Broadway’s Umpqua. It’s another way to help change the way things work — and you don’t have to go to jail to do it.

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15 thoughts on “The Chase 5? How about the Broadway 2,420

  1. So the idiot who poured urine and feces into the Chase bank vestibule and ATM in NY last week, I suppose that as long as he thinks its not illegal to do such things, then that guy should get off in a jury trial, right?

  2. “Yes, commented the idiot future juror,” commented the idiot Capitol Hillbilly. Give it a rest, rednecks.

    Anyway, you really can’t argue with success. Occupy’s well publicized critique of endemic banking industry fraud is certainly responsible for some of the 46% increase in BECU membership last year. Perhaps even most of it. Carry on, Occupy!

    And while we’re on the subject of the justice system, Russ, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations reported that before WaMu’s acquisition by the FDIC and sale to Chase, executives there dumped its bad loans on clients while misleading them about their value. But while protesting bank fraud got the Seattle Five arrested, cuffed, and put on trial, there has been absolutely no attempt to criminally prosecute former WaMu higher ups for actually *committing* bank fraud.

    Got anything to say about unpunished organized crime by WaMu bankers, Russ? Or is fraudulently selling shit securities less serious than honestly making a shit deposit?

  3. “Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations reported that before WaMu’s acquisition by the FDIC and sale to Chase, executives there dumped its bad loans on clients while misleading them about their value”

    And while thats complete and total bullshit, it should not be an invitation to take matters into your own hands. Torching ATMs and tresspassing, smashing windows, pouring urine and fecal matter at bank entrances, appears to be the start, how far will this go on? These stunts or pranks do absolutely nothing. What these protesters could be doing is voting people into office that will do something about it, but I get the feeling most dont believe in voting. Saying “voting doesnt work!”, isnt an excuse to choose these tactics.

    Be smart, use better tactics, or continue being a broken record.

  4. No, he should not. The law is the law, and it doesn’t matter what someone mistakenly “thinks” is the law, except for a certain jury in Seattle who let the Chase 5 scofflaws go free…if that wasn’t an arrogant “jury nullification,” I don’t know what is. Whatever happened to “ignorance of the law is no excuse”?

    Should a murderer be declared innocent because he/she didn’t “think” it was against the law?

  5. Students at UC Davis recently convinced US Bank to close their on-campus branch. Every day, they would form a human blockade outside the door, and every day, 30 minutes later, the branch would shut down. See Occupy’s Bank Blockade Victory and US Bank Flees in Terror From Direct Action.

    I would love to see every one of the “too big to accept the consequences of bad business practices” banks close up and move out of our neighborhood. “Too big to fail” means “above the law.”

    What would it take to convince our neighbors to stop doing business with these crooks?

  6. It’s the duty of our peers, when serving on juries, to ensure that the law is not applied unjustly. If someone seems to have violated a law but it seems that he or she is not deserving of punishment, it’s the jury’s duty not to convict. The jury is our ultimate check on abuse of power.

  7. Wow!….the UC Davis activists were supremely successful without resorting to violence or law-breaking. What a concept!

    But of course their actions required alot of planning, organizing, and time committment….things which are in short supply among Seattle leftists….much easier to chain themselves up inside a bank or throw a brick through the window…..never mind that such illegal activities are counter-productive.

  8. Had the venerable protest tactician calhoun bothered to read the article Mr. Mocek had linked to, he would have seen the group of Occupiers sitting in front of the bank’s door, physically blocking it. UC Davis police considered this is an illegal act, as evidenced by the arrest threats reported in the article. On January 20 in San Francisco, police arrested 11 people for trespassing after a group of protesters refused to move their human chain blocking an entrance to Well Fargo’s headquarters.

    So even though they were not arrested, UC Davis activists DID resort to law breaking, at least in the eyes of the police. “Supremely successful” law breaking. What a concept!

    Of course, Municipal Court jurors found that Seattle leftists who chained themselves up inside a bank did NOT resort to law breaking. And it’s the jurors — not calhoun — who ultimately decide who’s breaking the law and who isn’t.

  9. Phil posted:

    What would it take to convince our neighbors to stop doing business with these crooks?

    I can’t speak for anybody else, but in my case, it was the “occupiers” camped out at SCCC. Every day while on the 43 we’d pass them. Thinking about it, I opened an account at BECU to see how things went. A little different, e.g., BECU deducts the funds when they clear, versus Chase where the funds are deducted immediately when using online banking. Anyway, it worked out OK, so after many years with WAMU, and then Chase, I went to Chase and closed the account. For some reason I felt uncomfortable doing it. I “gouged” them for $100.00 by opening a savings account only to close all accounts about a year later. Kind of ironic that the representative at BECU was a former employee at Chase.

    Don’t agree with some of the methods I’ve seen displayed. FWIW, IMHO, the “establishment” is expert at dealing with violence & stupidity. They just print money to buy more weaponry. The non-violent protests, especially in NY where the police sprayed those girls who posed absolutely no threat to anyone, and the “kettling” tactics used seriously backfired. I find the “occupiers” a cause for optimism.