1. Close your account on a Monday. This way, the banks will start their week — every week — by facing numerous customers closing their accounts. They will know that it’s not random; it’s a movement. And facing that movement at the beginning of the week will set the tone for their entire workweek.
2. Wear a “Please Close My Account” shirt when you go to the bank to close your account. Do this if you really want to leave an impression on bank employees and other customers. There is nothing illegal about wearing a shirt expressing your principles, so the banks can’t stop it, but they will hate seeing people in those shirts come into their building. It’s a way you can make your views known without being involved in a protest rally or getting into an argument inside a bank.
The combination of these two things, the special days and the special shirts, will result in a memorable experience for anyone in a bank on a Monday — and hopefully an experience that will grow in magnitude and visibility with each weekly repetition.
The brilliance of this plan is that it's repetitive and highly visible. If bank account closures spike every Monday, banks will know there's a movement going on; it would be impossible for them to think it's just random. Hopefully each Monday from now on will see a larger and larger number of people walking into banks and closing their accounts. Mondays could eventually become a totally lost day of productive business for the worst offending banks -- a day in which they spend their entire time just closing people's accounts, one after another. This will get their attention and they will start to think about making some changes in their corporate culture and policies to prevent another bitter Monday of losing customers.
The special shirts will ensure that they see what's going on. If people actually walk into their bank branches wearing a shirt proclaiming their desire to move their money from big Wall Street banks to small local banks and credit unions, it will be impossible for bank employees to misinterpret the situation. It will be obvious that the customers are closing their accounts as a matter of principle -- yet they won't have to say a word about it, because their principles will be written right on their sleeve! People can stride up to the counter, smile, and politely say "I'd like to please close my account" -- no argument or act of civil disobedience necessary -- and everyone in the bank, including the employees and other customers, will see their shirt and know that this particular account closure is part of a mass movement.
What is the philosophy behind this idea?
Free people can change the world. All they have to do is decide to exercise the power of their freedom in a spirit of unified action. Each individual doesn’t have to have a lot of money or power, since there are so many of us! The key is to work together for a goal we all believe in. ...
The way it works is simple: Freedom of choice by huge numbers of individuals all doing the same thing at the same time. Global communications and social networking technology makes this possible as never before.
The principle of nonparticipation is key. Corrupt systems in society cannot continue unless people agree to participate in them. If most people decide not to participate in a system, it tends to collapse due to lack of perceived legitimacy and lack of manpower to keep it going. ...
Ordinary people have tremendous power to make change this way. We don’t have to rely on petitioning politicians, who rarely listen to people anyway unless they write them big checks for their campaigns. We don’t have to get coverage from the mainstream media; Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere provide a new, unfiltered way to spread a message. We don’t have to engage in civil disobedience or break any laws. All we have to do is become networked together in our common interests and goals, and then together use our freedom.
The single best thing people can do to change America's corrupt and broken financial system is to withdraw from its biggest and most powerful institutions and encourage everyone in society to do the same. Monopolies and oligarchies are bad for the economy and bad for the customer. Small businesses and competition are good. In a free market system such as the American economy is supposed to be, the customers have the power to determine which businesses grow or shrink, succeed or fail -- and this is true with banks just like with any business. These ideas can resonate with 99% of Americans, cutting across party lines and regardless of political ideology.
If we are serious about making change, this is the path we will take. We don't need to turn Occupy Wall Street into a left-wing political movement supporting candidates for office, and we don't need to focus entirely on occupying public parks in cities to make a statement about the right of freedom of speech and assembly. A stronger and more visible progressive political movement would be good, and continuing to Occupy Wall Street is good -- but in terms of themost effective way to fight back against the big Wall Street banks, there is nothing better than a mass movement of millions of American people walking into their local branch of Bank of America, Citibank, Chase, or Wells Fargo and saying "please close my account."
The people themselves can make the change they seek. We don't need to convince politicians to punish the biggest and most corrupt banks -- and frankly, no amount of pressure by Occupy Wall Street or any other group is likely to make politicians of either party listen to the majority of the American people on this issue and defy the financial corporations that are their biggest source of campaign funding. But these big banks will either be forced to reform themselves or else suffer severely at the hands of their (former) customers, if millions of people close their accounts as part of an ongoing and highly visible mass movement.
I submit that Move Your Money Mondays is the long-term answer. Let's build on the momentum already being generated by the November 5th Bank Transfer Day and keep it going and growing. Spread the word about PleaseCloseMyAccount.com and "Move Your Money Mondays" until it goes viral and we achieve the change we seek!