‘The swamp is Goldman Sachs’: how the bank is rewarded for putting profits over people
The US government has continually mined the bank for some of its top posts despite its role in the 2008 financial crisis and protests are popping up across the country again in response to Donald Trumps cabinet picks
In a persistent drizzle on 17 January, a group of protesters swathed in green ponchos unfurled tarps and sleeping bags on the sidewalk in front of Goldman Sachs high-rise building on the West Side highway in New York City. A few of them wore handmade swamp creature masks; others bore signs with the swamp creatures on them. A light-board sign declared the bank Government Sachs.
The protest was the beginning of a multi-day camp-out aiming to stay on the sidewalk outside the investment bank until the inauguration of Donald Trump, and to bring people affected by the banks policies to the doorstep of some of the worlds richest people some of whom will belong to the Trump administration.
Its about highlighting the lie that was told to millions of people in this country, the lie that Trump was draining the swamp. If we really want the swamp to be drained, we have to do it ourselves and were doing it by going to Goldman Sachs, says Nelini Stamp of the Working Families party.
As the crowd of about 100 people set up camp, the police erected barricades around them but mostly held off as the crowd moved from chanting The swamp is getting deeper! The swamp is Goldman Sachs! to a series of speak-outs from the crowd about the banks connection to payday lending, the economic crisis in Puerto Rico, foreclosures and more.
For Jean Sassine, who lost his job and nearly lost his home during the 2008 financial crisis, fighting the influence of the big banks in Washington is personal. He became a member of community organization New York Communities for Change (NYCC) six years ago as a way to fight back, and for him the Goldman action means trying to wake people up that these are the people who were part of the big crisis in 2008, that Steven Mnuchin was called Mr Foreclosure at OneWest and Goldman Sachs. Do you want Mr Foreclosure to be secretary of the treasury?
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