Wells Fargo is documented by Food and Water Watch as contributing funding for the highly opposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in the amount of $467,000,000. George Ridgik and Denise Luttrell used U-locks to block the doors of the Wells Fargo on Pearl St. They and about 75 supporters who sang and chanted outside of the bank want Wells Fargo to divest from the DAPL.
They locked down about 2:30 in the afternoon and were freed by bank staff two hours later.
Luttrell said that she had spent weeks living at the Standing Rock camp where she was able to see the “beauty and the ugliness of what’s happening up there.”
“I’m here in solidarity with my brothers and sisters from Standing Rock. I’m asking Wells Fargo to divest from the DAPL and to stop handling money for Energy Transfer Partners. I believe that in this country we need to focus on the future. Fossil fuels are not the future. We need clean energy and we also need to ask the banks to stop supporting corporations that are using militarized police to commit human rights abuses in their name. So I’m here today to stay here as long as it takes to get Wells Fargo to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline before they cut me off.”
Luttrell said that no one from the bank had responded to their action as business continued from a separate entrance. Some of that business was to close the accounts of more than six other supporters of the Standing Rock water protectors. Other banks targeted across the US were Citigroup, TD Securities, and SunTrust.
Moments earlier a rally in support of Standing Rock took place to plan next steps to support the camp. Food, shelter, and clothing drop-offs continue to be collected but donations of wood are being discouraged because of the pine beetle disease that the locals of Standing Rock are trying to avoid.
Arn Manconi, former Green Party candidate of US Senate had just returned from Standing Rock after having suffered serious injuries from a car accident before the election.
“The revolution is happening right now about ten hours up from us. There are thousands of people who are willing to lay down, get arrested in order to stop the global corporate mafia. In order to stop an oil company. They’re almost done with this pipeline. They just need to go down underneath the Missouri River. Over 1200 miles has almost been connected.”
Manconi referred to a press release from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the federal entity responsible for permitting the pipeline construction:
“[The US Army Corps of Engineers] has completed the review that it launched on September 9, 2016. The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property.”