What to think, who to believe and whom to trust are some of the questions that 23 individuals whom were arrested this past Saturday pursuant to storming (as authorities have claimed) the Citibank La Guardia branch Saturday afternoon and demanding immediate closure of their bank accounts.
According to bank tellers only one of the individuals chanting and jumping up and down actually asked to have their account closed whilst the other ‘customers’ (apparently no one is sure if they can be technically called customers if all they were doing is ‘loitering’ in a private lobby and making what the police described an unruly ruckus, even if they technically hold accounts there) leaving them in the tethered position of feeling violated and intimidated and predisposed to immediately calling the police which is what happened. It is of course when the police finally arrived as the below video shows that things got very very interesting for our ‘disenfrancised’ bank customers.
But even before police arrive, the 23 dissenting individuals found themselves being detained by Citibank security guards. Why? A myriad of ideas have being popping around- from making sure the commotion didn’t spill onto the streets (which sounds counterintuitive cause you want the protesters immediately back out in the streets as opposed to your vestibule scaring the bejesus of other customer who for the time being are still customers of the bank), to keep the trauma localized, so you could carefully identify who had sullied your afternoon crumpets and tea (which sounds entirely plausible that way you can now moving forward watch for any suspicious behavior from those individuals- which makes sense when you are a financial institution feeling threatened for suddenly being portrayed as the bad guy that you all well know you are but have managed courtesy of lobbyists, bought our politicians and a mainstream media too curious to find out about the size of Kim Kardashian’s nipples to deflect attention from), and the less plausible reason that in times of disarray it is best to secure the premises lest the bank robber escape.
Except in this instance there was no bank robber. The bank robber in this case if one wishes to be categorically correct is the bank itself. But that too is another discussion that involves assuaging at what point do banks get away with nonchalantly raping customers and pretending it’s the American way just bank procedure.
Nevertheless, 23 individuals were kept against their will from actually physically closing their bank accounts (it remains to be seen if upon being released from prison, cause that is exactly where they all ended up when the police quickly arrived, if they will return and actually close their Citibank accounts) and quarantined in the lobby where upon when the police arrived decided that these individuals needed to be arrested for what they deemed violating the sanctity of a private space. (is that gutter speak for trying to throw a hook into the water bottle and hoping to see what sticks?).
Never mind that the private space these individuals were defacing with their shrieks and scowled faces was the place where they actually also kept their money which they were somehow conveniently deprived of removing.
The bank for its part, no doubt mortified that it has once again become the center of another negative public relations campaign (such it seems are the adversities of trying to take advantage of people in broad daylight and in front of video cameras…) today has decried the police’s heavy handed actions (the irony as you can imagine is too profound) and argued that they never once had asked the police to arrest these individuals, but rather just attend to the fracas courtesy of one disheveled bank teller who one imagines was well briefed that in instances of public protests in the vestibule and an attempted bank robbery to discreetly call for the police. This employee I hope is not overlooked at the next easter bunny rotation, because one can easily see they have earned the right to be loved indefinitely by the bank and even slipped an extra $50 note come Thanksgiving day (why wait for Xmas?).
But just in case you don’t believe me, I have taken the liberty of copying and pasting Citibank’s response to Saturday’s fracas:
“A large amount of protesters entered our branch at 555 La Guardia Place around 2:00 PM today. They were very disruptive and refused to leave after being repeatedly asked, causing our staff to call 911. The Police asked the branch staff to close the branch until the protesters could be removed. Only one person asked to close an account and was accommodated.”
As sweet and accommodating as this epitaph courtesy of the boys and girls of Citibank is, there are some rather disconcerting discrepancies between what Citibank claims to have happened and what ahem, the video actually captured happening.
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