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News :: Environment
Who's the Dummy Now? Police Overreact, Deactive Mannequin
27 Apr 2009
On March 31st, a brand new organization called Mannequins for Climate Justice chained a dummy to the door of a Kenmore Square Bank of America (BOA) with a bike lock, setting in motion a bizarre chain of events.

Police rushed to the scene and shut down all of Kenmore Square—taping off the area and blocking traffic—followed closely by ambulances, swarms of reporters and even news helicopters. Next, according to the Boston Phoenix, “bomb squad guys—one in a full space suit, plus their bomb-killing robot—were called in,” adding to the absurd spectacle.
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On March 31st, a brand new organization called Mannequins for Climate Justice chained a dummy to the door of a Kenmore Square Bank of America (BOA) with a bike lock, setting in motion a bizarre chain of events.

According to BOA receptionist Kim Mullaney, the dummy was already chained at 8:30 when she arrived for work and an officer standing on the corner had not yet noticed it.n Caleb Daniloff of Boston University Today writes that bank employees called the police at 8:37. Though the bank had not yet opened, mainstream news sources such as the Boston Globe reported that, “Customers and workers at a Bank of America branch were kept inside,” until the ordeal was over. Furthermore, this branch should be fined for fire code violations if it truly has only one exit.

Police rushed to the scene and shut down all of Kenmore Square—taping off the area and blocking traffic—followed closely by ambulances, swarms of reporters and even news helicopters. Next, according to the Boston Phoenix, “bomb squad guys—one in a full space suit, plus their bomb-killing robot—were called in,” adding to the absurd spectacle.

The bank and surrounding area remained closed for much of the day, and police eventually succeeded in removing the dummy, but the bomb squad discovered no explosives. The dummy, who wore a Red Sox hat and a shirt that read, “Real Dummies Evict People and Fund Climate Chaos,” had only this say to police during questioning: “Even a dummy like me can see that Bank of America’s massive loans to coal companies and support for the epidemic of foreclosures and evictions has to stop now... Bank of America seems determined to be so evil it’s almost comical, but people resisting the bank’s practices will have the last laugh.”

When asked about the motives of the act, Captain William Evans of the Boston Police Department told Daniloff, “I’m sure it had something to do with the economic crisis going on in this country."

Captain William Evans blamed the protesters for creating a dangerous traffic issue: “What bothers me is people have to get to hospitals, whether they’re having babies or heart attacks, and some prankless (sic) joke like this can cause death and some tragedy.” But was it the activists and their dummy that blocked the roads in Kenmore Square, thus hindering ambulances access to hospitals? Or was it the overreaction of the police that closed down this busy section of the city in a paranoid frenzy, reminiscent of the Cartoon Network “Mooninite Bomb Scare” of January 2007? Regardless, the police reaction and resulting media hype made the statement of these climate change protesters more powerful than it ever could have been had the authorities just cut the lock off the door like logical people. As Lyette Mercier of the Bostonist points out, “First Lite Brites, now dolls? Maybe the bomb squad needs a tutorial on toys vs. bombs.”

Bank of America spokesperson, Anne Pace, told the Boston Herald: “Bank of America respects the rights of individuals to demonstrate peacefully. While Bank of America does not agree with these individuals’ position, we respect their right to voice them. However, Carmanwe find all acts of vandalism to be unfortunate and unproductive.” The Boston Herald added, “In response to the note’s slam on Bank of America’s environmental record, Pace pointed to the company’s $20 billion, 10-year initiative to fund renewable energy.” Our readership at the BAAM Newsletter need only flip through our past issues to learn that BOA has given well over 7x that amount to coal companies like Massey Energy, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy.

Captain Evans told BU Today that police are reviewing Kenmore Square area surveillance cameras in an attempt to identify the activists. “When we apprehend them,” he says, “they will be charged with crimes.”

The BAAM Newsletter staff applauds Guy Fox, as multiple news sources call the dummy, and his accomplices for their ingenuity, creativity and daring. Above all, we call a toast to their effective direct action against the greedy capitalists. To the end of the big banks, the recession, foreclosure crisis, and environmental devastation they’ve caused! Long Live Guy Fox!

REPOSTED FROM baam (issue 20) NEWSLETTER
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