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Working In These Times

Monday, May 17, 2010, 2:01 pm

National People’s Action, Unions Stage ‘Showdown on K Street,’ Push Financial Reform

BY Sara Peck

At high noon on K Street in Washington today, more than 2,000 people from 20 states called for financial reform, rallying at McPherson Square and outside the Treasury and several big-name corporate offices, including Bank of America.

The action, part of what National People’s Action (NPA) has dubbed the "Showdown in America," brought together the Service Employees union, AFL-CIO and Jobs With Justice. Their goals? End corporate lobbying and too-big-to-fail financial institutions.

The festivities began on Sunday afternoon as throngs of protestors waving signs yelled personal stories into megaphones outside the homes of Bank of America's Deputy General Counsel for Bank Regulatory and Public Policy, Gregory Baer, and Peter Scher, Executive VP of Government Relations of JPMorgan Chase.

NPA has pushed for an independent auditing consumer protection agency, regulation of the derivatives market and federal regulation (rather than just registration) of hedge funds. Other labor organizations have also called for regulations of securities brokers and a cap on bank size. Senators continue to amend the Restoring American Financial Stability Act.

Sara Peck, a spring 2010 In These Times editorial intern, is a Northwestern University student studying journalism and political science.

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