Occupy Des Moines protestors wanted to get Wells Fargo's attention. Protestors demanded an hour to speak at the company's shareholders' meeting Tuesday in San Francisco. Several dozen protestors blocked the entrance to a downtown Des Moines bank branch Monday over the noon hour, forcing police to tell them to move or risk arrest.
Occupy organizers let police know ahead of time 10 protestors would stay in front of the bank's front street entrance, blocking customers from getting inside. Police warned the protestors they would arrest them if they refused to move. And they eventually lead those 10 pre-determined protestors away to the police department.
Gene Wilson of Des Moines, took part in the protest and supported the group's efforts to draw attention to what protestors feel are unfair business practices by the corporation. Protestors disapproved of the bank accepting federal bailout money, but is now foreclosing on mortgage holders who fell seriously behind on their bills. They also don't support the bank lending money to so-called "payday lenders" and "factory farms." Wilson said, "Wells Fargo has a very long reputation of doing atrocious things for many in the communities."
When asked why Wilson didn't join others to get arrested to make a statement, he replied his wife asked him not to since the couple plans to look for a mortgage on another home in a few years.
Wells Fargo denied any wrongdoing. Spokeswoman Angie Kaipust said, "We can't control what people do to make a statement. Our focus is on our customers and our communities with support they need. That includes helping people stay in their homes and providing jobs."