Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

seattle chase

Female environmentalists occupied one of JPMorgan Chase's bank lobbies in Seattle to demand divestment from fossil fuels. (Photo: @350_Seattle/Twitter)

#ShutDownChase: Environmentalists Occupy Bank's Seattle Office to Denounce Its Funding of Climate Disaster

350.org Seattle says that since President Donald Trump took office, "JPMorgan Chase has quadrupled its investments in tar sands and increased its financing of coal by 2,100%." 

Jessica Corbett

With JPMorgan Chase's annual shareholder meeting set to take place in Texas next week, 350.org Seattle and five other environmental groups organized a demonstration to protest the bank's ongoing investment in fossil fuels, particularly tar sands.

At least five indigenous and 15 non-indigenous female protesters occupied the lobby of the Russell Investments Center in downtown Seattle—where Chase's regional leaders are based—while others shut down the street outside by erecting "tarpees" and hoisting a sign that read, "Road closed due to Chase's financing of climate disaster."

The occupiers' request for a meeting with Chase Pacific Northwest chairwoman Phyllis Campbell—to discuss the bank's "investments in Canadian tar sands, including the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline"—was rebuffed.

Multiple protesters were arrested for participating in the demonstration, according to 350.org Seattle, which tweeted: "Destroying the world in search of profit...perfectly legal. Peacefully protesting such destruction...not so much, it seems."

The demonstration mirrored a similar action in Iowa last month, when hundreds of progressive protesters gathered outside Wells Fargo's annual shareholder meeting to demand that the bank divest from fossil fuels, private prisons, and the gun industry.

"We're here to point out the injustices done by corporations like Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank—the environmental injustices done by these corporations," Seattle protester Aaron Brouillette told King5, a local television station, on Monday. "Funding big oil companies like Kinder Morgan, extracting from Alberta tar sands oils in Canada...I don't think that's right."

350.org Seattle asserts that since President Donald Trump—with his fossil fuel-friendly agenda—took office last year, "JPMorgan Chase has quadrupled its investments in tar sands and increased its financing of coal by 2,100 percent."

"We're here to point out the injustices done by corporations like Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank—the environmental injustices done by these corporations."
—protester Aaron Brouillette

"And it gets worse," the group notes on its website. "Chase is currently trying to block its own shareholders from introducing and voting on a resolution that would force it to complete a study into its tar sands investments."

Other protests against Chase's investment in fossil fuels were held at various locations across the country on Monday, and documented on social media using the hashtag #ShutDownChase.

The Dallas chapter of 350.org, the Society of Native Nations, and Rainforest Action Network have planned a rally outside the shareholder meeting next Tuesday in Plano, Texas.

"JPMorgan Chase is one of the most destructive businesses on the planet," declares a Facebook event for next week's protest. "We need to stand up and show them we won't tolerate threats to our clean water, clean air, and our human rights."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

After Kids Killed in Texas, Dems Declare 'Pass Gun Safety Legislation Now'

"Congress has a moral responsibility to end gun violence now," said Sen. Ed Markey. "To those who refuse to act, there are no excuses. Only complicity and shame."

Jessica Corbett ·


At Least 19 Children, 2 Adults Killed in Texas Elementary School Shooting

"This has become part of who we are as a country," said Julián Castro. "The free availability of guns has not made us safer in the United States or here in the state of Texas."

Brett Wilkins ·


House Dems to Pelosi: Hold Vote for Bill Expanding Social Security

"It is Congress' responsibility to ensure that Social Security's benefits are protected and improved," says a letter to the speaker. "It's time we deliver."

Jessica Corbett ·


Two Years After George Floyd Murder, Biden to Issue Executive Order on Police Reform

"The entire culture and mentality needs to change to bring these words to life, and to save lives," said one civil liberties advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'Wholesale Fraud' in Michigan Governor Race Could Disqualify GOP Candidates

"It looks like the Republican clown car may be losing a few occupants."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo