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A Montrealer Put Anti-Wall Street 'Hold The Line' Ads All Over The City (PHOTOS)

They read "Tenez la ligne" — a response to the GameStop saga that's been happening recently.
Contributing Writer
A Montrealer Put Anti-Wall Street 'Hold The Line' Ads All Over The City (PHOTOS)

You may have heard of the GameStop saga that's rocked the stock market and Wall Street over the last couple of weeks — and everyone being told to "hold the line."

Well, one Montrealer has taken his statement one step further by purchasing ad space all over the city with the money he made off of the stock to tell people to "Tenez la ligne" against Wall Street.

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MTL Blog reached out to Jonathan Mireault, the person behind the billboards and street ads, to learn more about how and why the posters came to be and what we can learn from the GameStop situation.

Answers have been edited for clarity and conciseness.

What can people learn from what happened with GameStop?

I think the GameStop situation can teach us a few lessons. It boils down to this: We, the 99%, do have the power to make changes and have an impact even when big players are involved. But it's also clear that the 99% aren't playing the game with the same set of rules as the 1%.

[rebelmouse-image 26880334 photo_credit="Courtesy of Jonathan Mireault" expand=1 original_size="1080x1920"] Courtesy of Jonathan Mireault

For example, the SEC is reportedly probing whether social media posts on Reddit boosted GameStop to try to find evidence of "fraud." How is it fraud for millions of people to buy stocks?

Sure, it's probably market manipulation to some extent to be online commenting to buy the stock and say to hold it. But how is it different from the "think tanks” on Wall Street that do it or some analyst going on CNBC to offer a stock suggestion or an activist going on a media tour to denigrate a company or to promote it?

Either ban all of it or investigate Wall Street, as well.

It's not like we're coordinating like most big players on Wall Street that have the funds to move the market. It's not insider trading, it's outsider trading. Why is the SEC interested in looking up what we wrote publicly?

Only one person went to prison for the 2008 financial crisis… but now the fed wants to look at our memes and due diligence post online? It's not hard to see that the rules apply differently depending on which class you belong to. 

Why are you anti-Wall Street?

I'm not anti-Wall Street. I'm not anti-government. I just tend to root for the underdog.

So many people were and are left behind in this economy.

A lot of people don't have the savings to be able to risk money in the stock market, and the ones that do get very poor returns on their investment by trusting their bank to invest their money for them in their mutual funds by giving them a measly 3% return per year.

And that's before the bank takes their 1.5% fee on the total of your investment, so the common folk ends up barely beating inflation while the banks keep getting richer.

Where did the different ads go? Were they all in Montreal? Why is it important for them to be shown in a city like this?

I decided to only invest in billboards on the island of Montreal. Since public transport is more widely available downtown, it was better for the exposure.

I was inspired by other Redditors who purchased billboards across the U.S. I wanted to do my part here in Montreal since this is where I live.

[rebelmouse-image 26880335 photo_credit="Courtesy of Jonathan Mireault" expand=1 original_size="3024x4032"] Courtesy of Jonathan Mireault

Even though this isn't Bay Street, which is the equivalent of Wall Street but in [Toronto], Montreal is populated by all the big financial institutions and all the big banks. I thought it was important to show that we are present everywhere.

The internet is bringing us together, no matter where we live. So this was my way to show support to the ones that actually believe in change.

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