Earth Quaker Action Team Wins — We All Win!

By now many of you will have heard how a small group of Quakers helped “take on” PNC Bank – and won. London Grove Friend Gail Newbold has been a part of this group since the beginning, and shares with us more information about EQAT, their recent success, and their plans for the future. Gail will also be leading a discussion at West Grove Friends Meeting on April 19th called “Living into Friends Testimonies,” about how we can follow our leadings with action, and be effective in affecting change in the world. (This discussion will follow Meeting for Worship, which begins at 10 am. See details here.)
Gail would like to share some basics about EQAT’s recent successful campaign, along with plenty of links for more information below.
The Basics:
a) PNC Bank is the 7th largest U.S. Bank.  Their new policy was announced 3/2/2015.  Based on its 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report, PNC Bank will effectively cease its investment in mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.
b) EQAT’s successful Bank Like Appalachia Matters campaign (BLAM!) was ALL non-violent, in the spirit of Friends, including spirit-led singing, public prayer in the manner of Friends, and the communications with PNC staff —  the CEO and Board members to bank branch tellers and security.
c) There is an online Thank You every person may sign, if so moved, thanking the people in Appalachia for their courageous work (see below).
d) We’ll be forming our next, new/updated EQAT Campaign over the next 2-3 months: a happy opportunity!
For those who want more details about the campaign, here are materials about our WIN: 
The initial press release from Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT – pronounced “equate”) is at .
New York Times article: .  One quibble about the New York Times article, rather simple:  The reporter creates some competition between the EQAT strategy and Divestment as a strategy.  As one EQATer wrote, “Setting up one category of target (financial institutions) vs. another (universities, churches, city governments) isn’t at all necessary when we take a big picture of what it takes to build a powerful movement.”
Radio Show    If somehow that does not work, go to and look in the Archives, available along the top of that page.  The show aired on 3/11/2015.  40-minute interview with 2 EQATers.
Below is a list of articles from the first week after PNC’s announcement.  News articles are listed under the articles written by EQATers Eileen and George.
  Small Quaker Group Takes Aim at Big Bank and Wins by Eileen Flanagan
 Eileen writes about the Bank Like Appalachia Matters! win as a “David vs Goliath” story: “The reason PNC’s policy reversal is so important–in addition to further undermining the despicable practice of mountaintop removal–is that it proves that people working together can force the hand of even the biggest institutions.”

How a small Quaker group forced PNC Bank to stop financing mountaintop removal by George Lakey
 George takes a look at some of the strategic – and controversial – decisions made along the way to victory:

“Another strategic choice was to wage a campaign called Bank Like Appalachia Matters, or BLAM! – that is, to focus on one issue with a clear demand and one target. We refused to follow the activist tendency to put energy into multiple causes and get little done.”
Read in full at

(and a bonus article – you know you want it!)
Eileen also recently wrote this article for GRID magazine on how to make your activism more strategic. (did you know Eileen also published a book on Tuesday!)
Here are links to online media articles about our campaign win.



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