Dec 13, 2016 - Seattle Moves Closer to Divestment from Wells Fargo over Dakota Access Pipelin
Seattle, WA – On Monday December 12th, the Seattle City Council moved closure towards divestment from Wells Fargo due, in part, to its financial backing of the Dakota Access pipeline.
The council heard testimony regarding a proposed new banking ordinance that seeks to guide the City to contract with socially responsible banking institutions. Additionally, the ordinance would end the City’s multi-billion contract with Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo currently manages depository services for more than $3 billion of the City’s money.
In a procedural vote, the council agreed to move forward with the legislation and sent it to its Finance Committee who will began hearings on the legislation in January.
Council member Kshama Sawant, the ordinances sponsor, said the following regarding Wells Fargo and the Dakota Access pipeline, “With its nearly $500 million invested in the pipeline, Wells Fargo’s insatiable thirst for profits implies an utter disregard for native sacred land, water, and the planet’s future. Thousands of courageous tribal and environmental activists are protesting at Standing Rock, in the face of militaristic repression and crackdown. Elected officials have a moral obligation to stand with them.”
Matt Remle (Lakota) gives testimony at the Seattle City Council meeting to divest from Wells Fargo.
Last Real Indian’s editor and writer Matt Remle (Lakota) who approached the council months ago about divesting from Wells Fargo and helped draft language in the ordinance regarding the Dakota Access pipeline stated, “Today, we moved forward on ending Seattle’s banking relationship with Wells Fargo over its backing of the Dakota Access pipeline. We’re not only putting Wells Fargo on notice, but all financial institutions, that if you support projects like the Dakota Access pipeline and engage with corporations and organizations who are involved in mass desecration of Ina Maka (Mother Earth), that are involved in human rights violations, that engage in predatory lending practices or treat their employees unjustly, then you will be unable to compete for City of Seattle contracts.”
If passed out of the Finance committee, the banking ordinance will go to full council for vote.