Save the date | 3.21.23

Dis-credit Bad Banks Day of Action

The next big exclamation point in our work to defund climate chaos is coming this Spring—and we need you to join us, on March 21, 2023 - 3.21.23!

Third Act has spent much of the last year collecting Banking on our Future pledges from thousands and thousands of people across America: pledges to move our money out of the big, dirty fossil-fueled banks – Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, and Wells Fargo – if they don’t move their investments out of fossil fuels. And we’ve learned more about how important this is: new data makes it clear that these banks are using your money to fund the climate crisis in a big way. If you have $62,500 in one of these banks, that amount loaned for pipelines, frack wells, coal, and oil exploration produces more carbon than all the driving, cooking, heating, cooling, and flying an average American will do in 6 months. In other words, your bank may well be the largest part of your carbon footprint.

Together with partners and with all of you, we’ll be collecting thousands more pledges to cut up our credit cards or close bank accounts, and we’ll deliver them in person to bank branches and headquarters in February. It’s an important step, but no one expects that pledges to move our money will be enough to change the policies of these behemoths. Chase alone has 75 million credit card customers, and over the last months has been moving backwards—not forward—in its climate commitments.

TO DIS-CREDIT THE BAD BANKS MEANS WE NEED TO ESCALATE!

We need to go beyond individual action and start making climate finance a dinner table issue. So on March 21 (3.21.23) we’ll have a nationwide Day of Action. It’s got to be broad and beautiful and deep in people’s minds and hearts.

Here’s how we hope it looks: Groups organizing to cut-up cards (symbolically or actually) in as many iconic places as we can imagine. (Maybe underwater on a dying coral reef, if you have diving skills, or against the backdrop of a fire-scarred forest, or alongside the remaining damage from Hurricane Ian). We also need lots of people outside and inside bank branches, especially out in suburbs across the country. Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo and Bank of America have picked 30,000 of the highest-traffic locations in the country for their offices and we want to make sure a wide sampling of them are visited that day.

If there are ten of these bank branches in the neighborhoods near you, get a band of people to move from one to the next all day: the more we get out the message, the easier the next phase will be. So start thinking: where can we go to make a difference? What can we do that will get noticed? How can we make people understand the crucial link between these banks and the climate crisis?

You do not need to be a cardholder or account-holder to participate, and if you are, you do not yet have to have figured out how to make the switch. We know this takes time and involves many personal decisions. (Here are some materials to help making the switch easier.) So even if you haven’t finished the switch it doesn’t matter. We’ve known all along we’re not going to solve this one person at a time. The point of the Banking on our Future pledge and this Day of Action – and of the actions that will follow – is to collectively make some noise, raise the visibility of the dirty banks’ role in climate destruction, and grow our movement for climate justice and solutions.

You also do not have to be a Third Actor to participate. All kinds of great partners are collaborating to make the day as much of a success as we can. We need people of all ages, races, and means to participate and send a strong message to the banks: if you don’t move money out of fossil fuels, we will move our money out of your banks.

What we do on 3.21.23 will drive the next stages in this work. Next, we will need to start pressing state and city treasurers, businesses, university administrators, and many others to figure out new banking arrangements. Those people and institutions have the power, because of the size and visibility of their accounts, to push even harder, and already we’re hearing good responses from some of them: vast companies like Salesforce, and important officials like New York City’s Treasurer have said out loud that they’re going to put pressure on financial institutions. But that’s just a start: we need to show the way. We need to make visible this invisible connection between cash and carbon. That’s what this Day of Action is about.

Third Act Working Groups have lots of ideas and plans already. But you don’t need a formal Working Group to be involved. If you can round up a few friends, you can stage an action. We’ll help with materials, with connections, and with ideas to make sure that the local media pays attention. Coming soon, we will have a map showing planned actions and a form where you can submit your action or sign-up to join one in your area.

Here’s how to get started. First, sign-up below to indicate your interest in getting involved with the Day of Action and we will send you updates on hosting or joining an event, taking actions at banks, and more. Second, sign the Banking on our Future pledge, if you haven’t already. And third, read the FAQ’s below and keep an eye out on this page to see when new information is added!

If you can give any amount to our Day of Action fund, now is a great time—we plan to outfit each action with support, beautiful artwork, and training, which all take resources. There’s a donate button below.

And this part is important: have fun doing this. That pleasure and creativity will be infectious; it’s how we keep building this movement!

Thanks for joining in!

PARTNERS

               

                  

       

Sign-up to get involved with the Day of Action

We're raising money right now to help make this day of action as big as possible. You can donate here.
Donate

Banking on Our Future Pledge

Sign one of our two Banking on our Future pledges: “If Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America are still funding climate-destroying fossil fuel projects in March 2023, I pledge to close my account and cut up my credit card. If I don’t bank at these institutions now, I pledge I won’t do so in the future.”

Learn More

FAQs

A coordinated, targeted, fun, movement-building public day of doing things! We decide – nationally – to align our actions. We prepare in advance for weeks or months. We invite and coordinate with partners and the community. We aggregate actions large and small to show our strength, raise visibility, and tell our story. We have fun making art, planning together and gathering. We create an exclamation mark in our campaigning arc and put pressure on our target – the banks financing the climate crisis!

Because the foundation of organizing is that The WHOLE is GREATER than the sum of its parts! People are inspired by being a part of something big and when we act together – all across the country – we can have greater collective impact. People-power can shift the narrative, change the zeitgeist, and plant the seeds for the change we need. We are more likely to get attention and media, both local and national. A broad, distributed day of coordinated action from bank customers, frontline communities, and everyday people targeting the big, dirty banks will effectively deliver our clear message – we don’t want our money used to finance climate destruction. The exercise of creating the day builds our movement, our community, our partnerships, and our skills. AND it’s a great on-ramp for new folks to join, learn, and participate; so invite your friends!

March is a great time because people can gather outside, we will have presented the banks with our collected pledges in February, and it falls in advance of Shareholder Season, another opportunity to pressure the banks. Many banks aren’t open on weekends, so a weekday is better. (And, let’s be honest – it’s such a catchy date!)

The goal is to have actions large and small all over the place, led by Third Act Working Groups, individuals, and partners! Imagine: dozens and dozens of creative, mediagenic actions around the country; unique *and* with unifying themes/ visuals/ hashtags that will create and build awareness in YOUR town. Some people will actually be cutting-up credit cards, some people symbolically cutting with giant cardboard and scissors. There will be events at climate-threatened and polluted places, sermons from pulpits, virtual actions to join, some direct actions and many rallies at banks. It’s up to you to get creative! What represents YOUR group/ geography/ affinity/ passion?