Special Topic

Meet The 99 Percent: Banks Wanted Texas Protester’s Entire Equity For Small Business Loan Collateral

ThinkProgress filed this report from the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City.

Thousands of people continue to gather and march in New York City as the 99 Percent Movement rallies people across the country to protest economic conditions in the United States that leave 1 percent of the population super-rich with much of the rest of the country struggling to get by.

ThinkProgress spoke to one demonstrator, Paul Middleton, who joined the demonstrations while on a trip to the United Nations from a suburb of Dallas, Texas. Middleton explained that he owns a small business, a recording studio that he relies on to make ends meet, that was in danger of going under thanks to the global recession. He sought a small business loan of only $50,000 and the banks wanted the entire equity of his studio — worth $850,000 — as collateral.

Middleton rejected the banks and sought help from his friends and family instead, and his business was able to survive, and now he says it’s “going good.” While in New York for some business at the United Nations, he decided to join the demonstrations with a sign explaining what the banks put him through. He demanded that we “take the money out of Congress” so that we can take on the banks and have a prosperous America that works for all of its citizens. Watch ThinkProgress’ interview with him:

The occupations occurring across the country in support of the 99 Percent Movement are growing steam, with the 500+ occupy groups on Facebook now reaching over 550,000 “Likes.”