By JOHN AND DIXIE TYMITZ
On Monday, September 17, 2018, we finally finished the process of withdrawing our monies from PNC because of the Stop Banking The Bomb Campaign. Originally we thought that once we made that decision, we could simply walk in, withdraw our monies, close the bank accounts and leave. It took us over a month, a long month. It was difficult transferring from one bank to another. It was also sad for us, because we had enjoyed excellent service and nice people with whom we worked; but this was important and the one thing we could do to show we did not want our money to be used to loan to any company in order to produce and/or build nuclear weapons.
How did this all begin? First, we found out through the Thomas Merton Center what PNC Bank was doing. There were letters and we assume calls made to the bank to voice the concerns of many people who held accounts at PNC. Nothing was done by PNC to assuage our concerns. Then we met with a group of people holding PNC accounts to publicly protest. We stood outside the main office downtown. It was raining. We did not block the entrance or the sidewalk. We stood there with our signs, such as “PNC: DO NOT BANK THE BOMB!”. The Raging Grannies were there, their signature hats on, somewhat covered by small umbrellas or raincoats.
Two people went in the doors at one point and talked with officials. Then we all left, and went to our various homes to dry off and get warm.
The future plan was that if something positive was not done by a specific time, we would all withdraw our money, and close our bank accounts at the same time. We did not hear from anyone by the allotted time that we were to act together, so we started the process by ourselves. We first wrote a letter to PNC, explaining what we were doing and our reasoning. We praised the bank people for their years of excellent service.
It is important to us that people understand the following: We are NOT heroes. It did not cost us our means of living; we did not lose friends; we were not threatened. We did lose the 35 years of convenient service from this bank. But when we stood in the rain downtown, when we wrote to the bank and did not even receive the courtesy of a reply – well, you see our point.
John and Dixie Tymitz are members of the Thomas Merton Center and the Stop Banking the Bomb Campaign.
(TMC newspaper VOL. 48 No. 9 November 2018. All rights reserved)