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Reverend Billy Expels the Evil Spirits of PNC Bank's MTR Practices During Occupation By His Gospel Choir and Local Residents

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On Saturday April 2 at 11:45AM, Reverend Billy Talen and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir joined with students and community members in exorcising Swarthmore's PNC Bank of a demon that has overstayed its welcome: the unsafe, unjust and unsustainable practice of Mountaintop Removal coal mining. The preach-in and exorcism sent a loud call to PNC Bank to divest completely from mountaintop removal coal mining.

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Philadelphia, PA -- On Saturday April 2 at 11:45AM, Reverend Billy Talen and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir joined with students and community members in exorcising PNC Bank of a demon that has overstayed its welcome: the unsafe, unjust and unsustainable practice of Mountaintop Removal coal mining. Reverend Billy and the Gospel Choir evangelized inside PNC Bank, while local residents and community members joined the rhythmic occupation and energetically sang along. Demonstrators held up messages of ‘Bank Like Appalachia Matters’ and ‘No More MTR’ underneath the PNC logo as rallying cries of ‘Save the Mountains!’ filled the room. The occupation lasted ten minutes, and no arrests were made. Reverend Billy and the Choir then led an impromptu congregation in song outside the bank, and interested passersby watched the show. The preach-in and exorcism sent a loud call to PNC Bank to divest completely from mountaintop removal coal mining. 
 
PNC Bank is the world’s largest financier of Mountaintop Removal (MTR), an environmentally devastating practice where the tops of mountains are blasted away to expose coal underneath, and that has buried thousands of streams and destroyed the health of communities across Appalachia. As part of an ongoing campaign, demonstrators are calling for PNC’s full divestment from mountaintop removal. As the result of prior pressure, PNC has already changed their corporate statement to reflect a partial shift away from supporting MTR, but still has not entirely divested. 
Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir are performance activists confronting the evils of consumer capitalism and reckless development. They appropriate the tactics and creative strategies of an evangelical preacher and choir to stage interventions in supermarkets, malls and banks around the world. Theatrical sermons, exorcisms, and revivals call attention to corporate injustice and the exploitation of communities both human and environmental. 
Mountain Justice is a student direct action group at Swarthmore College addressing climate injustices through creative, strategic campaigns that target exploitative mountaintop removal coal mining and natural gas hydrofracking industries and their corporate financiers.