The city of Seattle plans to remove $3 billion from Wells Fargo to protest the atrocities which have taken place at Standing Rock.
A few weeks ago, actress and activist Susan Sarandon made headlines when she asked supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe – who are protesting the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) – to pull their money out of the banks which are invested in its development.
“Water protectors”, who have been camped out near Cannon Ball, ND, since April, argue that the controversial DAPL will uproot sacred burial ground and potentially contaminate the Missouri River. In addition, they maintain that the land is rightfully theirs due to an 1851 treaty which was never revoked.
After the ‘call to action’ by Sarandon, thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of activists pulled their money from the 17 big banks which are invested in the pipeline and shared footage of themselves doing so on social media.
Critics said the act would do nothing to propel change, but how wrong they were.
Yesterday, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant introduced legislation urging Mayor Ed Murray to cut ties with Wells Fargo due to its investment in the DAPL.
The Seattle Time reports that Sawant wants the city to refrain from banking or conducting other business with Wells Fargo for at least one year. At the end of that time frame (Dec. 31, 2008), the city’s present contract with the bank will expire.
Sawant is eager to dump ties with Wells Fargo sooner if the community desires to do so. After all, the bank is involved in multiple scandals, which you can read more about here.
Sawant explains her reasoning:
“THEY HAVE WITHSTOOD BLIZZARDS, POLICE REPRESSION AND ATTACKS FROM PRIVATE MILITARIZED SECURITY FORCES. THEY HAVE BEEN BITTEN BY ATTACK DOGS, PEPPER-SPRAYED, SUBJECTED TO MASS ARRESTS, INCLUDING FOR PRAYING. BUT THEY HAVE COURAGEOUSLY STOOD STRONG AND SHOWN THAT WHEN WE BUILD ORGANIZED MOVEMENTS WILLING TO FIGHT, WE CAN WIN. ELECTED OFFICIALS NATIONWIDE OWE IT TO THE ACTIVISTS TO STAND WITH THEM. ONE CLEAR WAY THIS CITY COUNCIL CAN DO THAT IS BY DIVESTING THE CITY OF SEATTLE FROM WELLS FARGO, WHICH ALSO HAPPENS TO BE ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL FINANCIAL BACKERS OF THE DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE.”
If the legislation is approved (as of now, it is to be brought up for discussion in January), the bank will undoubtedly suffer losses.
At present, Wells Fargo manages more than $3 billion of the city’s operating account, $30 million which is allotted to 12,000 employees two times a week.
According to Jessica R. Ong of Wells Fargo Corporate Communications, the bank is a lender to the Dakota Access Pipeline project and invested $120 million in a $2.5 billion credit agreement with the parent company, Energy Transfer Partners.
If the entire city of Seattle – which has a population of 652,405 – can boycott Wells Fargo, what’s preventing other cities from doing the same?
Don’t forget, Wells Fargo isn’t the only bank invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. The following 17 banks have also set aside money to ensure the controversial pipeline is completed.
If you do business with any of the following establishments, consider pulling your money from and severing ties with the banks:
- Wells Fargo
- BNP Paribas
- The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
- Citibank (CitiGroup)
- TD Securities
- Credit Agricole
- Intesa SanPaolo
- ING Bank
- BBVA Securities
- DNB First Bank
- ICBC London
- SMBC Nikko Securities
- Societe General
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- ABN Amro Capital
- Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
- Citizens Bank
- Comerica Bank
- U.S. Bank
- PNC Bank
- JPMorgan Chase
- Bank of America
- Deutsche Bank
- Compass Bank
- Credit Suisse
- DNB Capital/ASA
- Royal Bank of Canada
- Goldman Sachs
- Morgan Stanley
- HSBC Bank