As Wells Fargo held its shareholders meeting in San Francisco, eight Minnesotans were on the ground, holding shares and seeking entrance to the meeting. While none of these activists were permitted inside, they joined thousands of protesters in the streets.
In an unprecedented move, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf denied entry to hundreds of community shareholders. Having been waiting for hours to attend the corporation’s annual shareholder meeting, the community shareholders were denied entry by Wells Fargo in an attempt to avoid answering questions from community members that had planned to attend the meeting to hold the corporation accountable for its destructive business practices that profit from communities’ losses.
Wells Fargo restricted entry to the community shareholders with barricades, claiming they were filled to capacity while they continued to let in shareholders that were not part of the protest through a side door. Wells Fargo also packed the room with its own employees so as to allow no room for additional shareholders to access the meeting, making inaccurate claims about the meeting room’s capacity.
Outside the meeting, thousands of people gathered in downtown San Francisco, to confront Wells Fargo executives at the financial institution’s annual shareholder meeting, demanding that Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and other executives address the concerns of the 99%.
The 99% activists include a diverse group of shareholders, homeowners facing foreclosure, immigrant rights activists, faith organizations and labor groups from around the country. Protesters called on the bank to end practices that profit from community losses, including foreclosure, predatory lending, tax dodging, and investment in private prisons. The groups are demanding that the bank halt foreclosure pending investigation and reform, help homeowners by resetting post-bubble mortgages to their fair market values, divest from private prisons and immigrant detention centers, pay its fair share of federal taxes, and end predatory lending practices to individuals and municipalities.
We interviewed three members of our Minnesota delegation and asked them to share why they made the trip west. Their video responses are below.