Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob a country.
Those are the very true words that two weeks ago had a man in Pennsylvania arrested. His purported crime? Terroristic threats, and the attempted robbery of the bank he was protesting!
An Occupy Easton protester faces an attempted bank robbery charge following an arrest at an organized event at a bank – during which the “Occupier” was holding a sign that reportedly read “You’re being robbed.”
According to The Express-Times, Dave Gorczynski allegedly held cardboard signs outside a Wells Fargo Branch that read, “You’re being robbed,” while the other said, “Give a man a gun, he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob a country.”
Occupy Easton reports on their Facebook page that Gorczynski “was at the bank protesting the theft of our tax dollars, our homes, and our economy by the criminal banksters.”
Welcome to the new America — where banks must be protected at all costs. Whether it’s a bailout or a trumped up charge to silence a protestor, if the banks want it, they get it.
The district attorney in the case has dropped the charge of attempted robbery. However, a terroristic threat charge remains.
Meanwhile, the economic evidence is mounting that countries that want to recover need to tell the banks to take a hike.
Joe Stiglitz notes:
What Iceland did was right. It would have been wrong to burden future generations with the mistakes of the financial system.
What Iceland’s recovery demonstrated was the case for letting creditors of private banks gone wild eat the losses.
A funny thing happened on the way to economic Armageddon: Iceland’s very desperation made conventional behavior impossible, freeing the nation to break the rules. Where everyone else bailed out the bankers and made the public pay the price, Iceland let the banks go bust and actually expanded its social safety net. Where everyone else was fixated on trying to placate international investors, Iceland imposed temporary controls on the movement of capital to give itself room to maneuver.
Krugman, it seems — after years of defending bank bailouts — is learning.
But what hope is there of telling the banks to take a hike when law enforcement, politicians and courts will gladly arrest, charge and try an anti-bank protestor exercising their constitutional right to free speech?
Law enforcement, politicians and courts have it upside down. It isn’t banks that need protection from protestors. It’s citizens that need protection from the banks.