Posted on SeanSwain.org:
We live in an inherently twisted society punishes those who rob banks rather than punishing those who them. This seems more than just a little bit unreasonable to me, given that the obscenely wealthy shouldn’t store all of their ill-gotten loot in concentrated places and then irrationally expect the rest of us not to have designs on divesting them of it.
Banks are the most prominent symbol of our culture’s blind adherence to the institution of property. The fact that thousands upon thousands of banks open up bright and early, six days a week, and close at the end of business with rarely ever a single robbery speaks to just how completely we are caught up in the delusion of capitalism’s legitimacy.
Some of the most famous figures in American history were bank robbers: Jesse James, Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid, Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger. Robin Hood is a kind of universal archetype, the model bank robber from an era before the existence of banks.
It’s both curious and appalling that we have these buildings all around us just filled with cash while many of us are barely scraping by and struggling for fundamental necessities. We routinely walk past these cash warehouses, with holes in our shoes and our stomachs grumbling.
A friend of mine, who was more often a successful bank robber than an unsuccessful one, shared with me his observation that, during bank robberies, police never want to catch bank robbers inside the bank. There’s an old movie called, “Dog Day Afternoon,” where two bank robbers are inside the bank when the police arrive, and the robbery turns into a prolonged hostage situation. Police want to avoid that, so, according to my bank robber friend, they never respond immediately. They’d rather let you get out of the bank where they can arrest you on the street, or chase you, or follow you with helicopters. So, that gives you some time to grab a substantial amount of cash.
Also, according to my friend, most bank tellers are trained to do as you instruct. So, if you hand them a note with instructions not to trigger the alarm in the drawer, not to include dye packs in the money bag, and not to put a GPS locator in with the cash, they’re supposed to comply. Banks don’t want tellers to defy bank robbers, get caught doing it, and end up getting somebody killed.
For a period of time in the late 1990s, bank robberies had one of the highest rates of unsolved crimes. Robbing banks was pretty fashionable. In fact, in the Cleveland area, there was one guy who successfully robbed several banks and in each robbery he left on foot. The guy didn’t even have a car. Authorities voiced a hunch that he was probably homeless.
Well, he was homeless when he started the crime spree, anyway.
I would suggest that in this modern era, BANK robbery is no longer bank ROBBERY. Consider: In 2008, when greedy banksters bottomed out the global economy, George W. Bush and his treasury guy, Larry Summers, who was himself an alumni of the Lehman Brothers/CitiBank locker room, decided the banks were “too big to fail,” and offered billions of dollars in bail-outs. They gave the banksters money that the government took from you in taxes. When Obama came into office, he got together with his treasury guy, Timothy Geitner, also an alumni from the same crowd of usual suspects, and they continued the billion-dollar bail-outs.
So, that means all of those banks that won’t willingly give you any loans have their vaults and registers filled up with YOUR money. So, I would suggest to you that it’s not robbery to take what’s already yours; it’s re-appropriation. That’s no crime. The real crime is letting a single bank get away with keeping it.
Think about it. To be successful, all you really need are pistols, ski masks, dufflebags, and an assertive sense of indignation. If we all did it, you know, like setting up an International Bank-Fund Re-Appropriation Day or something, the whole banking system would collapse. It would cease to exist. We would have a future without banks.
So, if you dream of such a future just as I do, I encourage you to act. After all, that dream is “too big to fail.”
This is anarchist prisoner Sean Swain from Warren Correctional Institution in Lebanon, Ohio. If you’re listening, you ARE the resistance…