Move Your Money – Occupy Durham Campaign 2011

201 Corcoran Street - Freedom Plaza

On October 9, 2011, Occupy protests were taking place in over 95 cities across the world. In mid-October, the movement found its way to Durham, North Carolina, a city that in recent years had had to battle against social economic disparity and gentrification. Occupy Durham has devoted the last three months to fighting for financial freedom through a series of initiatives, one being the Move Your Money campaign. On November 22, I had the pleasure of chatting with Aurelia D'Antonio, organizer of the Durham Move Your Money Campaign at Francesca's, a locally owned coffee shop. Aurelia is a Ph.D. student at Duke University and a budding social activist. Follow us as Aurelia takes us on a journey through her experiences of Occupy movement.

Marcus: How did you first learn about the Occupy Movement itself and what were your thoughts on the Durham Movement?

Aurelia: I remember the first day that it happened, like I remember reading it, reading about it and hilariously enough I was in New York at the time. And I didn't go. . .  I believe the first Occupy Durham event was Saturday, October 2 and I wasn't able to go but that, that, that was the moment at which I started thinking about how I was going to participate in it. And I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about the fact that I thought that people in Durham would probably really jump at the idea of really investing their money locally. It just seems like, you know, it seemed obvious based on the degree to which the, the city, you know, the community of the City of Durham has embraced local food and local businesses and you know it just really is into keeping it in the city.

So it just seemed, it seemed like an obvious thing for us so I went to 2nd Occupy Durham General Assembly on October 9 and just started talking to people. . . That was the beginning of the Move Your Money committee was that Saturday October 9 and then, you know, we've been working together on a lot. We've had a rally, we brought in Self-Help and Property Latina and primarily those two to talk about the benefits of banking at a credit union. Just to get information out to people about the bad practices of the big banks. The other thing that we did was we put together a website, where all of that information about all the local credit unions is accessible to the public. . .

On November 12, we held a march on Wells Fargo, we met in the People's Plaza, formerly CCB Plaza and, you know, marched and chanted and had 9 people successfully close their bank accounts at Wells Fargo that day.

Marcus: How long are you personally willing to continue working for this financial freedom?

Aurelia: I don't know. I don't necessarily see it as something I put a time limit on. I just see it as something has, has entered into the way that I think about the world and the way that I interact with the world.