Good morning, readers! It’s another grey Pittsburgh day, but at least it’s above freezing today, right? Luckily, last Sunday was Winterization Day at the Occupy Pittsburgh camp, where there was a lot of smiling, laughing, digging, raking, hauling, building, nailing, and other industrious teamwork to get the space cleaned up, revitalized, and ready to face the cold months ahead. The People’s Library already got its 2.0 overhaul the weekend before, so us Occubrarians were able to pitch in with other projects. Check out the fine new mess tent!
You may have heard that BNY Mellon has served the Occupation with an “eviction” notice. We can only assume this gesture was intended as a joke, but just in case our dear neighbors are in earnest, we gave them notice right back:
Notice to BNY Mellon
Occupy Pittsburgh hereby makes it known that The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK, hereafter BNY Mellon), a Delaware Corporation, with headquarters at One Wall Street, New York City, New York, is currently occupying a premises at 500 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We, the people of Pittsburgh, have so far tolerated the presence of this organization on this property, and as for the Occupy Pittsburgh encampment, we have enjoyed a friendly relationship with most of BNY Mellon’s staff, who are almost entirely part of the 99% of society who are not millionaires.
The public should be aware, however, that BNY Mellon is a criminal enterprise masquerading as a respectable institution in the community. As we pointed out on October 19, BNY Mellon is being sued by the attorneys general of three states for ripping off $2 billion from public pension funds by overcharging them for foreign currency trades. It is also being sued for $1 billion by the Retirement System of the City of Detroit for keeping the pension funds’ money in Lehman Brothers even after it became apparent that that bank was in trouble.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of BNY Mellon’s crimes. For instance, we note the bank’s habit of paying its own check processors low wages, below the level needed to raise a family. In this light, we see BNY Mellon as frivolous in its recent demand that people exercising their First Amendment right to free speech and assembly should remove their tents and camping equipment. It is BNY Mellon that is intruding on us, and it is time for them to go.
Please call BNY Mellon CEO Gerald Hassell at (212) 495-1784 and tell him it is time to leave the premises at 500 Grant Street immediately.
We further request cooperation from all public officials — be they judges or Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who can be reached at (412) 255-2626 — in enforcing this notice, and also not responding to pressure from BNY Mellon to interfere with the rights of citizens peacefully exercising their Constitutionally-protected rights.
For more fun facts about BNY Mellon’s legal troubles, check out this enlightening piece in Businessweek. Turns out BNY is being sued for “gross negligence” in helping to funnel billions of dollars into Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. (Remember Madoff? He’s in prison now — two years down, 148 to go. That’s what happens when you steal from the 1% instead of the 99%.) So, it turns out we here at Occupy Pittsburgh don’t have the most upstanding of neighbors, but we try to make the best of it! For one thing, we’ve renamed the space. What do you think?