October 2011 Occupy Wells Fargo demonstration in Minneapolis
SAN FRANCISCO -
A group of Minnesotans will join thousands of protesters at the Wells Fargo annual shareholder meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday. The bank is among several facing criticism over taxes and political lobbying and demands of increased mortgage debt forgiveness.
Tributaries of the Occupy Wall Street movement are expected to be a prominent voice both inside and outside the meeting. A group called 99% Power is bringing more than 100 Wells Fargo shareholders to the meeting, with about 3,000 others expected to protest in front of the Merchants Exchange Building.
"We are looking forward to holding our annual meeting in San Francisco and our goal is to have it run smoothly," Wells Fargo spokesman Ancel Martinez said Monday. "Certainly we are taking the necessary precautions to make sure we can hold the meeting safely as well. Yet, we certainly support the right of peaceful assembly."
Protests have shaken up the annual shareholder meeting season, with Citigroup's executive compensation plan getting a vote of no confidence last week.
Last October, demonstrators with TakeAction Minnesota "occupied" the Wells Fargo lobby in downtown Minneapolis. The group called for the government to tax big banks like Wells Fargo to close the federal deficit and save social programs.
As for complaints over policy and economic inequality, Wells Fargo says that in addition to providing a quarter-million full-time jobs, they have worked with struggling homeowners on 750,000 loan modifications and more than $4 billion in principal reductions.