Banks, Weapons & The Art of Resistance.
Letitia James speaking in front TD BANK
As reported by the Public Advocate for the City Of New York, TD Bank lent $280 – $300 million to Smith & Wesson. Letitia James, is the Public Advocate for the City of New York, the second highest ranking elected office in the City. As stated on her website, As Public Advocate she serves as a direct link between New Yorkers and their government, acts as a watchdog over City agencies, and investigates complaints about City services.
Quoting this CBS article, James stated that ““Money that fuels gun violence is blood money.” She wants the city to take a look at its own contracts with TD Bank. James’ letter, sent to TD Bank’s President & CEO Mike Pederson, TD Bank’s Chairman of the Board Bharat Masrani, and TD Securities’ Chairman, CEO, and President Bob Dorrance, made five specific demands:”
- TD Bank and TD Securities should immediately review and terminate, to the extent possible, their agreement with Smith & Wesson;
- TD Bank and TD Securities should disclose the full amount and justification for any income earned on their deals with Smith & Wesson;
- TD Bank and TD Securities should immediately donate the income earned on these deals to organizations working to end gun violence;
- TD Bank and TD Securities should conduct a full review of all business dealings with firearm manufacturers, terminate such dealings, and donate any income from such deals to organizations working to end gun violence; and
- TD Bank and TD Securities should publicly pledge to not engage in any further business dealings with any firearm manufacturers.
My first ever savings account was with TD Bank, and I still bank with them today. TD Bank plays a significant part in my life and yet it’s business practices are absolutely incongruent with my beliefs.
I would absolutely not buy products from a corporation that makes deals with arms manufactures, so why would I loan money to one?
- December 2015: Letitia James send letter to TD outlining demands
- January 2016: Protests at the 957 Marcy Avenue Branch in Bed-Stuy take place.
- June 2016: Letitia James wrote to six banks asking them to stop financing Sig Sauer, the maker of the assault rifle used in the attack at Pulse nightclub.
Other Banks Involved
- Berkshire Bank
- Citizens Financial Group,
- People’s United Bank,
- Regions Financial Corp.,
- TD Bank
Together, these institutions provided $178 million in loans to Sig Sauer in December 2015, according to data from Bloomberg.
These banking institutions are directly funded by me, and these institutions directly fund gun violence in the United States and worldwide.
An intimate story that shows where your money goes and the impact of the presumably innocuous decisions we make. Show how to resist these forces through a creative and artistic story, and put forth the concept of “Art As Resistance/ Resistance As Art”
To quote Letitia James letter to TD Bank:
“You have the opportunity to be a voice of leadership and to work towards a safer and more just society. I urge you to renounce those profits that you have received by dint of your financing of manufacturers of firearms.”
A great summation of the message I want to encourage people with – we have power to be leaders change our world through our actions.
I absolutely believe there is a large amount of people who after learning about this will feel that this is a system they want to distance themselves from. I would like to spread this knowledge to those who are not aware of this very important information.
A first person video project where we are following the money as it gets deposited into the bank and eventually takes form as a weapon. (Inspired by Bear 71).
A data visualization of the flow of money – built as an installation (think of the vertical screen near the elevators).
A website instructing how to take your money out of these financial institutions and which institutions are better alternatives. Create a seal of approval for banks who are not invested in arms manufacturing and/or related business.
Investigate further into how our money is used by the institutions we bank with.
Look into digital currency (Bitcoin).