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“Takin’ it to the streets”: site chronicles another protester’s fight against Chase

Alessandro Machi’s site,, was launched to chronicle his own fight against Chase.  While engaging in this struggle with Chase, Alessandro has also been dealing with his father’s protracted illness.  Unfortunately, I have just been informed that his dad passed away this morning.  I lost my dad similarly, so I am moved by reflections about my own father’s final days and memories of his life as well.  I extend my deepest sympathy. 

Most of us with any sense of humanity can empathize with how difficult this whole situation must be for Alessandro, while he has been dividing his time to protest (on the streets, keep reading), or care for/visit his father.

Under the circumstances, the fact that Alessandro has stepped forward and demonstrated the courage to fight in a very visible and public way is downright heroic. 

I am convinced that he is right, and that I have been right as well with respect to an overall strategy.  Big “corporate” media have provided some coverage, but there have been noticeable gaps relative to center-piece issues, such as the missing “opt out.”  We must therefore wage our war in grassroots fashion, “takin’ it to the streets,” and that is exactly what the site has been doing, leading the way by documenting Alessandro’s approach. 

I’ve had a sticky note on my computer screen for a while with a list of things to do, such as creating some downloadable post cards.  Previously, I created the “Make Your Own Credit Card Company Protest T-Shirt Kit” (and I also created a CafePress shop if someone felt the urge to support this fight with other products, such as coffee cups). 

Meanwhile, I have to give Alessandro credit for coming up with an even simpler, low-tech but highly effective solution: have people make their own posters, hand-drawn with markers.  Hey, that works, too:

The effectiveness of creating signs like the one above is especially true if you would do what he has been doing:  Monday, April 6, 2009, marked “Day One” of his very visible display, during which Alessandro stood outside Chase’s Woodland Hills, California, branch with one of his protest signs: picketing Chase, Day One, Woodland Hills, California 

I certainly do want to support and further publicize his efforts, and I hope that site visitors will join me in thanking him, or participating more directly by employing some of his suggested tactics. 

I don’t know if some of you are aware of it, but there are numerous ways to obtain free blog sites (this one is paid — differences include more control over the site).  It appears that Alessandro is using one such “free” blogging resource.  One of my other sites (under development) is called, and you can find a copy of a downloadable (free) eBook entitled, “Bootstrapper’s Guide to Blogging,” there (note, the eBook does have links to resources that are free, as well as some that are not, but these paid services should only be needed if you pursue blogging as serious avocation).  If you do create another protest site, please let me know so that I can link to you, and promote your efforts.

One possibly very important note: As most of you are aware, the site is against credit card company abuses, regardless of brand.  The entire industry has shown a willingness to engage in reprehensible and unethical (short-sighted) behaviors, harming small businesses and consumers alike.  We’ve spent a lot of time and put a lot of effort into fighting Chase recently, because its November 2008 change in terms has thus far been among the most abusive of all times in the credit card industry at large.  Nevertheless, the aforementioned Day One post indicated that CitiBank may be planning a change in terms that is similar to what Chase has imposed. 

I have not had the time to research this possible action relative to CitiBank.  However, I call upon you to write preemptive letters to Citibank executives, warning them that they had better not.  Tell them that if they do so: