Pa. Protesters Demand Bank of New York Mellon Return Money

Pitssburgh, PA–(ENEWSPF)–October 17, 2011.  Bank of New York Mellon Corp. had given protesters permission to camp out in the company’s privately owned park in downtown Pittsburgh as long as they remained peaceful and respectful. The question now might be how to define respectful.

On Sunday, the still peaceful protesters of the newly formed OccupyPittsburgh group announced a specific demand: They want BNY Mellon to “pay back” money they say it made by overcharging public pension funds around the country.

With the BNY Mellon skyscraper in the background, about 75 protesters gathered around noon Sunday to hear plans for a picket at the bank building this Wednesday.

OccupyPittsburgh organizers handed out 500 newly printed copies of a flyer highlighting the pension issue. In early October, New York’s attorney general and the city of New York filed a lawsuit against BNY Mellon, accusing it of defrauding clients in foreign currency exchange transactions that generated nearly $2 billion over 10 years.

BNY Mellon said the allegations are “flat-out wrong” and has vowed to fight the lawsuit.

BNY Mellon spokesman Ron Gruendl said Sunday that the bank is disappointed the protesters are distributing material that contains false allegations. He noted that the bank isn’t blocking protesters’ access to the park.

But now, the OccupyPittsburgh group is asking whether public pension funds that BNY Mellon administers in the western Pennsylvania region were also overcharged.

One speaker called on protesters to demand that state Attorney General Linda Kelly investigate the issue and to march at the attorney general’s Pittsburgh office. OccupyPittsburgh spokesman Nathanial Glosser told The Associated Press that that aspect of Wednesday’s protest hadn’t been confirmed, just the picket of the BNY Mellon building.

About 25 tents are scattered around the park, along with a food distribution point, a medical tent and a headquarters tent powered by a small solar panel.

Carolyn Kemp, 26, said she made the snap decision to camp out after Saturday’s protests, and she shared a small tent with two other people.

“I think it’s been a really good spirit so far,” Kemp said, adding that police left Saturday evening and hadn’t returned.

Kemp said the president of the local transit workers union visited the park, and said a number of cars and buses responded to a sign that said “Honk for America.”

On Saturday, as many as 2,000 people marched in Pittsburgh in support with the Occupy Wall Street movement that began in New York. In Philadelphia, about 500 protesters marched from a camp next to City Hall to the Liberty Bell for the second Saturday in a row.

Read the article with comments: Beaver County Times