Courts & Crime

Anti-coal protesters arrested outside Bank of America in Charlotte

Amid chants of "Bank of America, bank of coal," eight protesters were arrested Tuesday morning outside the Charlotte bank's corporate headquarters.

The protesters were affiliated with the local chapter of the Rainforest Action Network and demanded an end to the bank's financing of coal-related operations. Members of the Occupy Charlotte movement also joined in and were among those arrested, organizers said.

Just after 7 a.m., several protesters scaled flagpoles in front of the headquarters building and dropped a large banner that read "Not with our money," urging people to take their money out of the bank so it won't be used to fund loans to coal companies.

Police then arrested four protesters who had formed a human barricade in front of one of the headquarters' entrances, said Jimmy Tyson, a volunteer media coordinator for the movement.

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokesman said six people were charged with trespassing and two with aiding and abetting trespassing during the morning's protests.

Beka Stecky, a protestor who lives in Charlotte, said the demonstrations are about pushing Bank of America to stop financing the coal industry and are a call to like-minded individuals to take their money out of the bank. A press release issued by the movement says that in the last two years, the bank has financed $4.3 billion in coal projects.

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