Fifteen Arrested at Bank of America and Peobody Coal Protest in St. Louis

Activists hold a sit-in at Peobody Coal Headquarters in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS--Fifteen activists were arrested Tuesday, August 16, 2011, after hundreds marched through the streets of St. Louis to protest the Bank of America and Peobody Coal. The action was part of the Midwest Rising! Convergence, a regional gathering of community and climate activists.

The arrests occurred in the intersection connecting Bank of America’s St. Louis offices and Peabody’s national headquarters.  Peabody is the world’s largest coal company and mines states like Wyoming and Montana for coal bound for coal plants in the U.S. and overseas markets. They are currently trying to build coal export terminals along the Washington coast for coal bound for Asia. Peabody has also recently taken a $61 million tax credit from the city of St. Louis, $2 million of that cash will be taken from St. Louis schools.

Bank of America is the largest foreclosure bank in the nation and the largest funder of coal. Bank of America execs have taken over $35 billion in bonuses and compensation even as the troubled financial institution took government bailouts.

Midwest Rising was made up of 400 people from 50 different organizations, including a cross-section of labor, community and climate organizations and convened in St. Louis on August 11 – 15. Organizations represented include: Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, Rising Tide, Climate Action STL, St. Louis Instead of War Coalition, Organization for Black Struggle, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Coal Country, Mountain Justice/United Mountain Defense, Greening Detroit, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), North County Neighbors, The Rainforest Action Network: Chicago Chapter, and Pick Up America.

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