Jun 7, 2017 - Water Protectors and Lawyers Demand Credit Suisse End Pipeline Financing

Credit Suisse leads European banks in loans to pipelines, totaling $1.4 billion. The Water Protector divestment delegation delivered a message to the Credit Suisse offices in Geneva, Switzerland today, demanding the bank withdraw loans to corporations behind the Dakota Access, Keystone XL, and other pipelines planned without the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of indigenous peoples. Security dragged Rafael Gonzalez (Tufawon) and other European allies out of the building as they conducted a sit-in inside the headquarters.

Rafael Gonzalez

The Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) also sent a letter to Credit Suisse’s Chief Risk Officer on Monday, requesting the bank end all current and prohibit future financing of pipelines planned without the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of indigenous people. Michelle Cook, founding member of the WPLC comments, “Standing Rock and the abuses which occurred there are reflections on the international community, Switzerland, and its financial sector’s commitments to enforce and implement their human rights obligations and standards. Energy Transfer Partnership’s DAPL is responsible for one of the greatest human rights abuses against Indian Nations and peoples to occur in the United States in the twenty-first century. Indigenous peoples are seeking justice and accountability by engaging with banks and the financial networks that contribute to indigenous human rights violations for extractive and fossil fuel industries.”

Water Protectors European delegation.

The Water Protectors and a group of European allies shut down the entrance of Credit Suisse by reading a letter aloud and sitting peacefully on the steps with banners reading, “We Are Here to Protect/Water is Life.” European allies also chained themselves to pillars at the steps as well. No arrests were made. The mayor of Geneva approved a giant teepee-inspired artivist piece in front of the United Nations for the duration of the delegation’s visit to Geneva. The banner around the base of the structure reads, “Water Is Life/Stand Up With Standing Rock/Keep the Oil in the Soil.” Rachel Heaton will be addressing a U.N. panel during the Session on Human Rights today and Wašte Win Young will address the panel on Thursday.

Nataanii Means

This is the divestment delegation’s first bank action since attending the shareholder meetings of BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, and Natixis in late May. The group has traveled through the Netherlands and Germany, where they visited numerous sites of fossil fuel extraction and production, including a Dutch drilling site and Europe’s largest coal mine, located in Germany.

Rachel Heaton

Video footage of bank action


By Jackie Fielder

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