Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Poster of the Week

Stop!! Wells Fargo Bank Loans to Chile
Malaquías Montoya
Silkscreen, 1979
Oakland, California

The Occupy Wall Street Movement has called November 5, 2011 BANK TRANSFER DAY. It calls for everyone to take their money out of the big banks and put it into credit unions. CSPG’s Poster-of-the Week shows a similar action that took place more than 30 years ago.

On September 11, 1973, the U.S. government initiated a military coup to overthrow the democratically elected socialist government of Chile. Henry Kissinger was a key architect of this coup. The brutal military dictatorship led by General Pinochet lasted for decades, and tens of thousands were killed or disappeared. International boycotts were invoked against products from Chile and U.S. business institutions that continued to negotiate and trade with Chile. In Stop Wells Fargo Bank Loans to Chile (1979), Malaquías Montoya used the bank’s trademark stagecoach, symbol of a romanticized and heroicized U.S. past, to call attention to their unheroic financial support of the Chilean military junta. In addition to listing the atrocities committed in Chile, this poster promoted direct sanctions against the bank by announcing a “withdrawal day” when people would transfer their accounts.

In the mid 1980s, the movement against apartheid in South African used a similar “withdrawal day” tactic, but then it was to withdraw funds from banks that did business with South Africa. It is important to note that Wells Fargo was one of the few U.S. banks to refuse to do business with South Africa in the 1980s. One can but speculate that the unfavorable public attention directed towards Wells Fargo in the 1970s alerted them to the dangers of continuing to support governments whose abuses attracted wide international attention.

Poster Text:
Stop!! Wells Fargo Bank Loans to Chile
"They Have A Legend To Live Up To"
$155 million to the Chilean Military Junta to finance repression in Chile: 40,000 killed 2500 Disappeared 1 Million Exiled 1 out of 10 Chileans Forced Into Exile
Outlawed All Human & Democratic Rights
Join Us - Withdrawal Day April 17, 1979 Leaflet Wells Fargo Banks
Tranfer Your Accounts
Info: Free Chile Center, bay area 415/ 433-6698-6055. san jose 408/ 295 7349. san diego 714/ 453-9164. los angeles
1979 Malaquías Montoya


1 comment:

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