Today, three female protesters stormed the stage in a Waldorf Astoria ballroom, stripped to their bras, and began yelling at a room full of bankers who just moments before had been listening to Bank of America CEO and Occupy Wall Street arch-nemesis Brian Moynihan. The women, members of the Occupy-affiliated CODEPINK group, had the slogan “Bust up Bank of America” painted on their chests, according to an Occupy press release. A shaky video uploaded to YouTube by what must’ve been a fourth CODEPINKer in the audience captures audio of the “bust up” chants while besuited bankers look around confused. As only a well-oiled CEO can, Moynihan finally cut the tension with a deadpan “as I said” and returned to his talking points, eliciting a chuckle from the assembled one percenters, several of whom clapped in appreciation. Yet it seems there are two competing versions of all the excitement that went down.
As Jodie Evans, a CODEPINK founder, tells it to Business Insider, she was the first to lead the charge and was quickly taken away by security, at which point her co-conspirators took over, including fellow co-founder Medea Benjamin who she says went on a (suspiciously long) eight-minute anti–Bank of America screed before security returned.
But that’s not exactly how Dealbreaker hears it. It starts the same way, with Evans marching down the aisle, chanting and wearing “a low-cut dress.” (The Occupy press release confirms that Evans was wearing a “hot pink bodice.”) But after she was cleared out, a second woman (presumably Medea) came onstage, “elbowed Moynihan out of the way and took the microphone.” Before she could strip off her blouse she too was hauled away. The third woman then jumped on a table in front of the stage, successfully disrobed down to her bra and began chanting away: “bust up Bank of America before it busts America.” Now that’s how to spruce up a financial PowerPoint presentation.