Seattle Activists Target Wells Fargo Over Dakota Access Pipeline Funding
SEATTLE, Washington - Today 350 Seattle, Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites (CARW), Ndns for Justice, Seattle for Standing Rock and the 43rd District Democrats launch #DefundDAPL, a campaign to push Wells Fargo to remove its funding from the Dakota Access Pipeline. They will stage daily actions outside of the Wells Fargo Center, in downtown Seattle, between now and January 5th, when the group will be part of a day of mass account closures.
The Seattle campaign is part of a wider national push to target the investors of the DAPL, and is a response to a request from the Standing Rock Sioux to target the banks behind the project.
“Wells Fargo finances DAPL and the corporations behind the project to the tune of $467 million. The Dakota Access Pipeline is an abuse of indigenous rights, and a disaster for the climate,” said 350 Seattle’s Alec Connon.
The groups are also working in support of Councilmember Sawant’s proposed legislation to close the City of Seattle’s accounts with Wells Fargo. “Companies like Wells Fargo that invest in the Dakota Access Pipeline don’t represent Seattle’s values,” said former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn
“In Lakota, we call water mni wiconi, the literal translation being “it gives me life.” Water, mni, is every being’s first medicine. Know water, know life. No water, no life,” said Matt Remle, member of the Lakota Nation who has worked on the proposed ordinance.
“It is important that we divest and let companies like ETP know that we will no longer be undermined by greed. We have the power to pull our money from banks that are harming Mother Earth, jeopardizing clean water & land, and treating the middle and lower class as if they don't matter. Divesting puts control back in our hands,” said Rachel Heaton, mother of two and member of the Muckleshoot Nation
As well as having a daily presence at Wells Fargo Center, the #DefundDAPL Coalition have promised rolling actions at branches across the city, and a large presence at future City Council meetings to demand that the City switches its banking to a socially responsible bank--starting with today’s City Council meeting, when Councilmember Sawant will introduce her socially responsible banking ordinance.
The campaign comes just after a number of states and cities have removed their business from Wells Fargo, as well as a recent City Council resolution and a letter from Mayor Murray to Standing Rock Chairman, David Archambault II, which expressed explicit support for the Standing Rock Sioux in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline.