Now at the center of media buzz over her call for a “Bank Transfer Day” on Nov. 5 to benefit credit unions, the 27-year-old owner of a small Los Angles art shop insisted Tuesday she got involved in the project to “get a message out to young people about choices” but that her online role is being wrongly misconstrued as “some kind of terrorist.”
Kristen Christian, who runs Le Spec Gallery, said ever since her proposal to close her Bank of America account and switch to a credit union was picked up on the viral blogs last week she received numerous calls “from many credit union people—tellers and managers” as well as trade organizations about her cause.
Christian said she become motivated to “do something to help educate” those of her generation as well as those “of my mother’s age” on megabank practices after seeing TV reports of New York police cracking down on “Occupy Wall Street” protesters.
“I felt strongly about how consumers like myself should be treated” by large banks, she said, noting that maintaining Nov. 5 was picked to mark the date a 17th century British folk hero –
Guy Fawkes – attempted unsuccessfully to blow up the British House of Lords.
Christian said “the facts and history” about her stemming from the media coverage “are inaccurate,” particularly relating to any suggestion she was advocating violence.
Christian also said she has no affiliation with “Occupy Wall Street” or a similar event staged in downtown Los Angeles but said she began reading more thoroughly on CUs and “their cooperative nature” after the arrests began.
“I just think people should make new choices” Christian said, noting that she was not too keen on moving her account to a small community bank “because I read they have a tendency to get merged by the larger banks.”
Christian declined to identify any of the CU leaders or trade group representatives who have contacted her but did name a Los Angeles television station.
“I just did an interview on KTLA and I was told it is going national,” she said.