On Saturday, May 16th, reparations activists with the Uhuru Solidarity Movement in Boston and New York drove outside JP Morgan Chase bank locations, the headquarters and even the home of CEO Jamie Dimon blaring their horns and displaying banners demanding reparations to the African community.
Vans, cars and bicycles decked out in painted signs surrounded the banks, turning the heads of pedestrians on the sidewalks of the financial districts of Boston and New York.
The banners were unambiguous in delivering a powerful message: “No bailouts for the billionaires! Capitalism must go! Reparations now!”, “JP Morgan Chase: your wealth is built on slavery and prisons!”, “JP Morgan Chase profits while COVID-19 kills African and Indigenous people”, and of course “JP Morgan Chase owes reparations to African people!”
First shots fired in campaign to “Make Wall Street Pay Reparations”
The Uhuru Solidarity Movement is the organization of white people working under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party, building the mass movement for white reparations to African people as a revolutionary, anti-colonial demand.
The vehicular encirclements of JP Morgan Chase in Boston and New York were the first clashes in what is planned to be a protracted, aggressive political campaign of USM with the goal to “Make Wall Street Pay Reparations.”
Chairman Omali Yeshitela, the founder and leader of the Uhuru Movement who devised the strategy to target the ruling class for reparations to African people, described the campaign on Friday night in a live broadcast as a mission to “expropriate the expropriators,” to wrest from the clutches of the bourgeoisie the accumulated value of centuries of African exploitation, amounting to more than trillions of dollars in stolen wealth owed to Africans in the U.S. and around the world.
The Uhuru Soldiarity Movement is targeting JP Morgan Chase and CEO Jamie Dimon because of the bank’s historic, documented ties to slavery, the prison industry and for profiting from the COVID-19 pandemic while a majority of African people are dying from the colonialvirus. (Learn more at “Five Reasons Why JP Morgan Chase Owes Reparations to African People.”)
Here’s what went down in New York
The NYC caravan began at the national headquarters of JP Morgan Chase in Manhattan. USM members and supporters honked their horns and circled the building to demand CEO Jamie Dimon pay reparations to the Black Power Blueprint, the black economic development project of the African People’s Education and Defense Fund.
The NYC caravan then proceeded north up Park Avenue, the street known for Wall Street billionaires to live on, all the way to the home apartment of Jamie Dimon to amplify the demand for reparations into the posh living quarters of the CEO himself.
As Chairwoman Penny Hess explained in the Friday webinar, the “Make Wall Street Pay Reparations” campaign is not a rehash of Occupy Wall Street or the Bernie Sanders movement, which aimed to reform capitalism. “Parasitic capitalism must go!” said Chairwoman Penny.
USM Boston takes to the streets
The Boston demonstration began outside South Station and headed north on Atlantic Avenue, blaring horns past the gigantic JP Morgan Chase Private Banking & Securities building at 50 Rowes Wharf.
People on the streets or in nearby parks at the waterfront couldn’t help but turn their heads to see what all the ruckus was about. The caravan received cheers and thumbs up from people all along the route through the financial district and past Boston Commons, some new cars even joining the caravan to honk!
The main attraction was when the Boston caravan pulled into the driveway of the new Chase bank located at 48 Salem Street in the North End. The cars pulled right up front to the building, honking loudly with bright banners on all sides which gathered a crowd of pedestrians. At this point the lead organizer and national chair of the USM Political Action Committee, Halley Murray, ran out of her car with a massive spray-painted banner reading “Jamie Dimon owes reparations!” to give a speech in front of the bank:
“JP Morgan Chase owes reparations to African people for funding private prisons, for having a foundation of slavery and genocide, and for profiting millions and millions of dollars right now while African people are dying of the colonial-virus of COVID-19. We have to say enough is enough! This is a car protest organized by the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, we are white people in solidarity with black power and African liberation. This action is part of our campaign to Make Wall Street Pay Reparations! JP Morgan Chase, we are coming for you! We are coming to get what belongs to African people! Reparations Now! Uhuru!”
Jamie Dimon is scared
On Tuesday morning, a matter of days after USM’s bombardment on the billionaire’s home, CEO Jamie Dimon stumbled into an annual shareholders meeting and launched into an opening statement that remarked on the ongoing conditions faced by the black community in this country, noting that little had improved since the end of the Civil War. We suspect that Dimon’s remarks were a bit of last-minute damage control after the reparations movement came knocking on his door just days before.
Learn more about the Uhuru Solidarity Movement’s campaign to #MakeWallStreetPayReparations by visiting uhurusolidarity.org/WallStreet
Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement and stand in solidarity with the African People’s Socialist Party’s campaign to wage a People’s War Against the Colonial COVID-19 Virus.
NO MORE BAILOUTS FOR THE BILLIONAIRES!
CAPITALISM MUST GO!