Showing solidarity with rallies in New York, activists gathered outside Chase Tower in downtown Lexington at noon Thursday to protest Wall Street.
Based on the "Occupy Wall Street" idea, the "Occupy Lexington Kentucky" campaign saw the group holding posters and receiving frequent honks of support by passing motorists. By the late afternoon, the crowd had grown to at least a few dozen.
"We're in a divided nation right now," said Lexington's April Browning, who, with Karen Conley and Rikka Wallin, organized the protest using social networks Facebook and Twitter.
She said the group, which saw more than 200 people confirm attendance on Facebook but far fewer show up, chose Chase because the bank received taxpayer funds in the height of the economic downturn. The company also was among a multitude of banks nationwide that made mortgage loans that soured and crippled the housing market as foreclosures climbed nationwide in recent years.
"We're here because it symbolizes the corporate malfeasance that we've seen on Wall Street," Browning said.
Chase spokeswoman Nancy Norris declined to comment on the protests.
Among the protesters was Andrew Bentley of Lexington.
"If any organization is considered too big to fail, they essentially become the state," he said. "If the banks are being bailed out by the people, there can't really be democracy."
Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1447.