- Over 350 People Participated In The Peaceful Direct Action
- 13 Chase Banks Shut Down By Activists And Indigenous Citizens
- 26 People Arrested; 6 Released Within The Night
Across Washington state activists and Native Americans gathered for peaceful direct action to shut down 13 Chase banks.
Hundreds of people from over 17 different organizations and groups united to draw attention to the funding that Chase provides for hazardous energy transfer projects including the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines which will inevitably poison and devastate local communities, businesses and wildlife just as it has in so many parts of the United States already. More than 350 people participated in the actions and faced the threat of arrest in many locations. Altogether police arrested 26 activists, some of which physically chained themselves to property. Several were allowed an early release within the night.
"Six of the 26 people arrested today have been released from the King County Jail on their own personal recognizance. Another group will be released by midnight. We don't know yet if everyone arrested will be released tonight. We will post updates as we have them." - 350 Seattle
The actions come at a time when safety regulations are being cut, protection agencies are firing scientists and leaks occur frequently across many of the 210 pipelines around the United States with little oversight or accountability. Citizens are growing increasingly concerned and frustrated with the amount of negligence and are protesting and engaging in direct action which has been an effective way of getting people's attention and making a real difference.
Why Are They Protesting Chase Bank?
Indigenous communities local to Washington state are protesting the bank for providing funding and loans for massive and unnecessary dirty fuel energy projects such as Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline which only benefit corporations and hurt communities and the environment. The activists and Native American protectors came with songs, signs and a clear message of divesting to encourage customers to take their money out of the bank for their participation in environmental and cultural damage.
Indigenous and impoverished communities such as Flint, Michigan are often the targets of construction tactics that result in land grabs, poisoning of the soil and water and contaminates causing health problems to local communities but lately Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline projects are also tearing through farmlands and American heartlands where elders and families are being forced and even arrested for trespassing on their own property in an effort to surrender their land through illegal eminent domain seizures (they are illegal since the oil being transferred is going from Canada to a refinery overseas and is not benefiting Americans).
Chase (along with many other companies such as Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America, TD and more) is one of the sources of funds for these projects which also end up costing taxpayers money - if customers took their money out of these banks then it sends a clear political message that corporations can't just easily acquire billions of dollars to rip up and poison our country just so they can make a quick fortune from the fossil fuel industry.
"There are many, many reasons why to stop these pipelines - it's not just about the environment, it's about social justice."
- Angie Spencer
6 arrestees released early on their own "personal recognizance" according to 350 Seattle
We Are The Media contributor, activist and mental health student Angie Spencer was on the scenes at one of the actions; she arrived with a group of people (one of 17 groups) with a personal goal of closing down her Chase account while the demonstrations took place, however the bank took this opportunity to seize her debit card and identification for 3 hours.
"..it's also about the secondary effects of what comes from these pipelines so that makes it a social justice issue. The secondary effects, for example, are the trafficking of women and children with the man camps.
During her livestream Angie reminded followers that their demonstrations weren't just environmental or pipeline related stating "It's not just about the pipeline itself and the environment, which is extreme and a threat to all of us and our safety, it's also about the secondary effects of what comes from these pipelines so that makes it a social justice issue. The secondary effects, for example, are the trafficking of women and children with the man camps. So, when a pipeline gets set up - man camps get set up full of oil works and the epidemic that has come from that is that native women are trafficked and a lot of abuse comes from that."
Seattle SHUT DOWN 13 Chase Banks in the city today so far.... Downtown live now! Great interview with Paul Wagner. We stand for #SociallyResponsibleBanking #NoMoreFundingOppression #NoMoreBusinessAsUsual #Divest #BankExit #PeacefulPrayerfulOrganized #ShutDownChase
Posted by We Are The Media on Monday, May 8, 2017
Seattle Chase Bank Peaceful Direct Photos In Slideshow © Sean Carney