(Source: By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Ontario, Calif. (MCT) Occupy Ontario protests the opening day of Chase Bank
Two dozen members of Occupy movements in Ontario and Los Angeles protested the opening of a new Chase Bank on the southeast corner of Fourth and Mountain avenues in Ontario.
A security guard stood by as protestors drew chalk messages on the sidewalk, held signs and chanted slogans. Many said they were calling attention to the issue of unfair bank foreclosures, and some encouraged onlookers to move their money to a credit union.
“There are a group of people coming from Los Angeles and a group of people coming from Riverside,” said Allan Eaton, of Ontario, who spent a week last year with Occupy Wall Street at Zucotti Park in New York City, and several weeks at the Occupy encampment in Los Angeles. “The plan is to keep it peaceful and the plan is to let customers coming in and out of the bank know they have other options.”
Claremont resident Mary Class, who said her home would be auctioned off in September, came to the protest in order to “fight foreclosures.”
“People who qualify for foreclosures are losing their homes anyway because the banks lose their paperwork continually month after month after month. Their files are never completed so they’re denied further modifications. My home is up for auction on September the 12th.”
In response to the issue of foreclosures, Gary Kishner, Chase spokesman, said the company has 19 home-ownership centers in California, “where we meet face to face with borrowers facing foreclosure.”
“These are dedicated to the loan modification process,” Kishner said. “In the past few years we’ve met with 88,000 in California, so our efforts in the state of California and committment to the state of California is very evident.”
Oscar Cortez, the branch manager, said the company is thrilled to open at the location, a former Blockbuster video rental site, in order “to give the community another option.”
Kishner said the protest was peaceful and there were no problems.
“Basically what they’re protesting today was really the opening of our 965th branch in the state of California,” Kishner said. “That branch brought in approximately 12 jobs to the city of Ontario. That’s 12 of the more than 8,000 jobs Chase has brought to the state of California in the last two years.”
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©2012 the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Calif.)
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