Protestors try to disrupt meeting of business leaders near Cle Elum

Sep 21, 2011

NEAR CLE ELUM, Wash. – Anti-poverty activists tried to crash a meeting of business leaders at a resort in Central Washington. The action – dubbed “Showdown at Suncadia” – happened today as the state’s chamber of commerce held its annual policy summit.

Three SUVs full of activists made it as far as the parking lot of Suncadia Resort near Cle Elum. Stopped by sheriff’s deputies, the group waved signs and aimed their chants at JPMorgan Chase, the multi-national bank that took over failed Washington Mutual.

The protest was organized by Washington Community Action Network. It says JPMorgan is getting tax breaks – including one for first mortgages – while everyday Washingtonians suffer in the down economy.

Inside the conference, JPMorgan’s top official in the Northwest, Phyllis Campbell, defended the tax exemption.

“The first mortgage interest deduction is an incentive to continue to lend heavily in the first mortgage market in the state of Washington. So I just want to make sure that we have an incentive to do that instead of have the money go to, say, another state,” Campbell said.

The protest at Suncadia resort was part of actions against JPMorgan across Washington.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network