PORTLAND-- Occupy Portland joined in National Bank Transfer Day, a movement that actually started with a single Facebook page. The crowd of demonstrators appeared much smaller than recent marches, and the number of police nearly matched the number of protesters.
Since the Occupy movement began, big banks have been in the bulls eye. Saturday marchers posted mock arrest warrants outside large banks, including Wells Fargo and Chase.
The message is: We need to start doing things locally and we need to get control of our economy locally, said occupy protester David Delk.
I think the banks are losing money, when we went to Chase they really tried to convince us that Chase was good for the community, said Paul Block, who was among those moving money to local institutions.
A regional manager of Wells Fargo points out his bank is one of the largest employers in Oregon, providing more than 6,000 jobs. But credit unions are seeing huge increases in new customers.
Our new account openings are up about 33 percent from the same period last year, said Kim Faucher with Northwest Resources Federal Credit Union. Downtown credit unions met Occupy marchers with coffee, donuts and application forms.
I think it's great people are connecting the dots and seeing that community banks and credit unions really do serve our local communities, said Jared Gardner with Oregon Banks Local.