Feb 10, 2017 - Coalition calls for Pipeline Divestment from City of Bellingham and U.S. Bank
The Bellingham #NoDapl Coalition announced today the call from Bellingham community members for the City of Bellingham to support socially responsible financial practices by not using banks that support fossil fuel companies. The coalition stated municipalities have an obligation to take into account the social cost of investing public funds in banks that have a hand in funding destructive policies against Tribal Nations and the environment.
The Bellingham #NoDAPL Coalition held an action at US BANK on the corner of Holly and Commercial in Bellingham, Washington on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 11:30 AM. Approximately 100 Bellingham community members flooded the bank lobby to demand that US Bank withdraw funding from the Energy Transfer Partners and Sunco Logistics which fund the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Members of Bellingham #NoDAPL read a letter to a representative from the US Bank, provided a community update on the Sacred Stone Camp, and supported a community member who closed their account at the bank.
The Bellingham #NoDAPL Coalition continues their campaign to have the City of Bellingham close their account with US Bank. Currently, the City has 70 million dollars of public funds invested in US BANK which, in turn, funds the DAPL.
Following the action at U.S. Bank the crowd took to the streets with banners, drums, and a live band leading the impromptu march. The march weaved through downtown Bellingham and ended without incident in front of of Bellingham City Hall. Music, further chants, and announcements were made before the crowd dispersed. The Bellingham #NoDAPL Coalition invited everyone to attend the February 13th Bellingham City Council Meeting, en masse, to send a clear statement on divestment.
Today’s action is a continuation of the local effort toward defunding the DAPL. The coalition cited as recent examples Seattle’s financial committee voting unanimously to close their 3-billion-dollar account with Wells Fargo Bank and the Muckleshoot Tribe’s unanimous Council vote to also divest from Wells Fargo Bank as inspiring to their action today.
This action is an important response to the Trump administration signing an Executive Memorandum declaring the intent to complete the Dakota Access and Keystone Pipelines. As federal processes become more and more questionable, many community organizers are turning to bank divestment as a viable strategy to stop the construction of the pipelines.