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Across the United States, people are answering the call to #DefundDAPL by closing their accounts with banks that support the Dakota Access pipeline. Activists in Portland want their city to do the same.
The city of Seattle could decide to take $3 billion in city business away from Wells Fargo, one of the 17 banks that are directly financing the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.
The Seattle City Council has voted unanimously to advance to discussion a piece of legislation that would see the city break ties with Wells Fargo over its financing of the Dakota Access pipeline. Wells Fargo currently manages $3 billion worth of depository services for Seattle. The legislation was proposed by Socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who spoke about the water protectors at Standing Rock during a City Council meeting Monday.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant: “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.”
The Minneapolis City Council is also currently studying ways to break financial ties with Wells Fargo and other banks financing the Dakota Access pipeline and other energy projects. Minneapolis activists locked shut the doors of a new Wells Fargo branch, which was slated to open Monday, demanding the bank divest from the Dakota Access pipeline.