March Led By Broad Coalition of Faith, Labor, Community and Immigrant Rights GroupsDenver, Colorado -- Thousands of people took to the streets of downtown Denver today to protest Wells Fargo's reckless behavior as America's biggest tax-dodging corporation. Workers from around the country joined Coloradans from all walks of life to march from the Colorado Convention Center to the doorstep of Wells Fargo's building on Broadway.
Wells Fargo has put taxpayers on the hook for $43 billion in bailout funds, made record profits, and paid only 3.8% in federal income taxes over the past 4 years -- less than what nurses, firefighters, and teachers pay--despite making some $69.1 billion in profit.
A coalition of nearly 20 community, labor, environmental and faith groups organized the event that comes on the heels of protests around the country to make corporations more accountable to the communities where they do business, to create jobs and to pay their fair share of taxes.
Denver Councilmember Paul Lopez and Rev. Dawn Riley Duval addressed the crowd on Sherman Street about the importance of Tuesday's action for the "99% Agenda." Councilmember Lopez said "If the 1% paid their fair share of taxes they would owe the 99% close to $2.15 trillion. We all need to do our part to contribute to the economy and pay our fair share, including Wells Fargo."
Wells Fargo has been the subject of protests across the country, but as Rev. Duval noted, "This is not just a rally in one city, at one bank. This is part of something larger, about a middle class that's fed up with the wealthiest 1% not paying their fair share or doing their part to make our economy strong."
Denver janitor Pedro Castillo, a member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), led the crowd to the Wells Fargo building to deliver an open letter, demanding that the company step up and do the right thing. As Castillo finished, hundreds broke out into a flash mob, echoing his call to do the right thing.
"It's past time for Wells Fargo to do the right thing and pay their fair share," Castillo told the audience. "We are here today in the thousands but we aren't going away. We are sick of footing the bill for Wells Fargo, and taking whatever we can get. It's time to focus on good jobs and a building up our communities instead of letting the 1% do whatever they want."
Analysis of Wells Fargo's taxes shows that if Wells Fargo had paid their full share of federal income taxes over the past 3 years - the standard 35% corporate tax rate - Colorado would have received an extra $53 million. But instead, big corporations such as Wells Fargo have flooded our legislative process with corporate dollars to protect corporate interests.
View SEIU's liveblog of the Wells Fargo march on Storify: http://seiu.me/dwf
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