Dec 1, 2016 was a global day of action against the Dakota Access Pipeline(DAPL). Here in DC, Climate First! showed up at four Citibank branches demanding they divest from the project. The fourth and final branch had already been visited earlier the same day by Greenpeace. Citibank organized the loan package that is funding construction of the DAPL.
At each Citibank branch a delegation from Climate First! went inside to discuss the Dakota Access pipeline while others stayed outside with the banner and fliers. One branch had been visited two weeks earlier and same as before their manager was “out to lunch.” At the last branch the temporary manager said he had never heard of the pipeline until the previous week when it was all over the news, and that Greenpeace has been there earlier in the day.
Other guilty banks include TD Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Suntrust, and Goldman-Sachs. Well Fargo agreed to meet with Standing Rock tribal elders after yet another lockdown in a Wells Fargo branch, Unicorn Riot reports that lockdown was thus able to unlock and disengage after securing that promise. Goldman-Sachs might be vulnerable to the same kind of campaign that forced them to pressure Fortress to call in their $100M loan to Huntingdon LIfe Sciences back in 2011. TD Bank branches lock their doors at the first sign of a protest. The wall of loans that props up the Dakota Access Pipeline project may be on the verge of crumbling, and without it the pipeline cannot be finished.
Below are the demands made of Citibank by Greenpeace, note that there are essentially NO circumstances under which the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe would agree to a pipeline expected to poison their water. Therefore these demands are effectively demands for withdrawing from the loan agreement entirely:
*All further loan disbursements to the project are immediately put on hold.
*Citi demands from the project sponsor that all construction of the pipeline and all associated structures is put on hold until all outstanding issues are resolved to the full satisfaction of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
*In case such a resolution of outstanding issues is not achieved with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Citi will fully withdraw from the loan agreement
*A public statement is made by Citi on how it will act on the issues identified above.
Reminding a Citibank branch that water is life!
Elsewhere: the Minneapolis lockdown that forced Wells Fargo to agree to meet with Standing Rock tribal elders. Photo by Unicorn Riot