Activists converged on more than 100 banks in Seattle yesterday to deliver a message of support for indigenous rights and climate justice. The beginning of three days of #DivestTheGlobe actions around the world, these demonstrations encourage banks to stop funding deadly fossil fuel development that is harming Native communities and threatening the future of our planet.
The indigenous-led actions in Seattle led to six arrests and more than 100 letters delivered to banks invested in tar sands development, joining people taking actions across the country during October 23–25, in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Tampa Bay, Austin, Wenatchee, and many other cities across the continent.
350 Seattle has set up a legal defense fund for those arrested here.
For information about you can personally divest from fossil fuel development, see the handy tool set up by Mazaska Talks here.
See the original call for these actions in this short video:
Sydney Brownstone reported on yesterday’s Seattle actions on Slog here.
Organizer Rachel Heaton told The Stranger that Mazaska Talks—Mazaska being the Lakota term for “shiny metal,” as in money—urges people to divest themselves from banks that finance private prisons and pipelines. While activists targeted Bank of America because of its involvement in financing Alberta tar sands extraction, Heaton said that the days of action are also meant to draw attention to the 92 banks meeting in Brazil this month that have signed on to the “Equator Principles,” a framework that’s supposed to help guide financial institutions’ social and environmental responsibilities when financing new projects. …
In February, the Seattle City Council voted to end its relationship with Wells Fargo over the company’s financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline, private prison companies, and the bank’s recent regulatory scandal involving two million unauthorized accounts. As a next step, Mazaska Talks is urging the city to consider a municipal bank, an idea echoed by Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant. Last week, Sawant proposed allocating $200,000 to a feasibility study on whether a municipal bank in Seattle could work.