WATERVILLE — Peter Madigan said he stopped in the middle of doing his taxes last week to plan a protest against Bank of America.

“I just got so incensed that so many major corporations have large departments whose sole purpose is finding ways to avoid paying taxes,” Madigan said.

He said he learned about a national protest of large corporations, including Bank of America, that are not paying taxes, and decided to organize a protest in Waterville.

The political activist website MoveOn.org organized hundreds of protests across the country for Monday’s federal tax day, according to Madigan, who said he is a member of the website’s organization.

Madigan, 67, was joined by nine other protesters Monday outside the Bank of America branch on Main Street in Waterville.

They asked passers-by to sign a tax bill they planned to present to the bank and waved signs at vehicles driving by, with some drivers honking their horns and shouting their support.


Holding a sign that said “My Medicare is threatened because B of A and G.E. and J.P. Morgan paid no taxes,” Madigan started a chant of “Hey B of A, why not pay your taxes today?”

The national protest had a goal of raising awareness of the tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, according to Madigan, who is a retired L.L. Bean customer service worker.

Among the protesters was Jack Carpenter, a 74-year-old youth minister from Rockland. He said he was angry wealthy Americans and corporations are trying to blame others for the national budget deficits.

“The lie that’s perpetrated that it’s our greedy teachers who are a part of this deficit problem is immoral and its unjust,” Carpenter said, holding a sign that said “Tax the Rich” on one side and “Feed the Poor” on the reverse.

A sociology student from the University of Maine, Ed Lachowicz, 29, explained why his age group wasn’t well represented at the protest, with the rest of the men and women in their fifties and above.

“I wouldn’t say that they are not interested; I would say they are not aware,” Lachowicz, of Waterville, said of young people.


He said he wants to be a social worker and help fight the “social inequality” problem in America.

The protesters stood outside Bank of America from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. They formed a line at one point, holding up cards spelling out “tax dodgers,” flipping the cards to show $3,950,000,000, which the protesters said is what the bank owed in taxes this year but did not pay.

The protesters collected more than 35 signatures on the tax bill for Bank of America. It said the bank made over $60.36 billion in profits and owed $3.95 billion in taxes, and it said the bill was from “the American Taxpayers.”

The assistant branch manager, Amber, said she could not comment on the protest because of company policy, which also kept her from giving her last name.

Although he was hoping for a larger turnout, Madigan said he was happy with the protest because it should get the attention of lawmakers.

“I think it’s up to the legislators now to change things because the system that we have now is just not working,” he said.

David Robinson — 861-9287

[email protected]

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