Vermont Occupy activists, who for months have been both a thorn for and a backer of the $345 million Vermont Federal Credit Union in Burlington, said Thursday they have come up with a novel plan which could be adapted nationally.
Matt Cropp, an Occupy representative who in June lost a bid to become a director of Vermont Federal but saw a fellow activist get elected, said the latest concept being floated is formation of “Members for Credit Union Democracy” with chapters of members bearing the name of individual credit unions.
The creation of such an ad hoc organization, said Cropp, will be debated Thursday night at a meeting in Burlington of the fledgling 35-member “Vermont Federal Credit Union Members Assembly.”
A decision to come up with a new name for the Occupy members who belong to Vermont Federal came after the president/CEO of the credit union, Bernie Isabelle, objected to the use of “Vermont Federal Members” in Occupy Facebook postings.
In particular Isabelle expressed concern over any linkage or mention of Vermont Federal’s name tied to Occupy’s picketing at a Burlington bank.
“We were recently informed that VFCU has registered ‘VFCUMA’ and the ‘Vermont Federal Credit Union Members Association’ as trademarks with the secretary of state, and told us that we cannot use any name with Vermont Federal Credit Union or VFCU in it,” said Cropp.
As a result, faced with this dilemma, Cropp said the organization sees “an opportunity to spread the movement to other credit unions by adopting the lines of ‘Members for Credit Union Democracy’ and then having chapters that bear the name of an individual credit union of which common membership is the common bond.”