BUSINESS

Artie Moffa, San Francisco Poet, Urges 'Keep Wall Street Occupied' Return Envelope Protest (VIDEO)

10/31/2011 11:52 EDT | Updated 12/31/2011 05:12 EST
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San Francisco poet Artie Moffa is promoting a different way to occupy the banks: Keep them occupied with junk mail.

In a video posted to YouTube late last week, Moffa suggests taking those credit card application forms that arrive in the mail and turning them into a message to the banks.

Send the postage-paid envelopes back empty, Moffa says. "It costs the bank about twenty five cents" per envelope, he tells viewers.

Those feeling a bit more proactive can take it to the next level and stuff the envelope full of the materials that came with it, and maybe even other junk mail. But those willing to put a little money into it can buy a wood shim or a roofing shingle, and put that in the envelope.

Because rigid mail is charged at a higher rate, that will cost the banks even more, Moffa says. But he stresses this should be about communication.

"Putting some sort of message -- clear, rational, a slogan -- I think that matters too," Moffa says.

As an example, Moffa displays a cardboard sign he has been placing in business reply envelopes that read, "Hello big bank clerk, please join a union."

"They're probably going to have a meeting about it -- and that's the point," Moffa says. "The real effect of this is to force banks to react to us."

Moffa told ABC News he got the idea for the protest when he found himself swamped with credit card applications.

"It struck me as tone deaf that banks would continue hawking their wares in the midst of all of this," he said.

Postage-paid envelope protests have been employed before.

During the U.S.’s health care reform debate, when a large insurance company sent letters to policyholders urging them to resist reform, many responded by returning the letter with pro-health care reform messages written on them.

Moffa's video has been viewed on YouTube more than 175,000 times since he released it on October 27. The poet and tutor has involved the economy and politics in his work before. He once contributed a "recession haiku" to NPR:

I still have a job

But fear keeps me from spending

Which might drag this out