First Nations who are battling the North Dakota Access Pipeline are now seeking another way to stop what has become the most controversial fossil fuel project in the world.
They are calling on people to call up the seventeen banks who are directly financing the project and asking them to withdraw financial support. In total some 38 banks are indirectly involved in the finance in the pipeline.
The non-violent protest against the pipeline in North Dakota is now inspiring people from all over the world, as the “water protestors” have stood up to being attacked by dogs, pepper spray and increasingly a military presence.
It is a protest being led by all sections of the community. Thirteen year old Anna Lee from the Standing Rock Youth, as well as the Oceti Sakowin Youth have just posted a petition update on the Change.org website asking people to phone the banks who are funding the pipeline that many First Nations are calling a vile black snake that threatens their land and water.
In a strategy that could be called cutting off the head of the snake, they want to cut the finance from the project.
To that end, they want people to phone up the banks, many of whom millions of people will be customers of, such as Wells Fargo, Citibank, BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Agricole, ABN Amro Capital, Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), Barclays, Royal Bank of Canada, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America, HSBC Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley amongst others.
The petition states: “You’ve probably heard that this project is funded by several banks, many of which you might be familiar with. It’s their money that makes this pipeline possible, and that supports the militarized police presence at our peaceful protests.”
It continues: “Will you help by calling the banks and asking them to withdraw their support for the pipeline? You can call any of them, but it will be particularly powerful if you call a bank where you are a customer!”
The request to the banks is simple: “to ask that you withdraw your financial support of and stake in the project immediately.”
Others agree. Food & Water Watch researcher Hugh MacMillan: “Ask these banks to clarify whether funds they are providing are being used, in any amount, to pay for the heavily militarized response to the Standing Rock Sioux, including the attack dogs, sound-cannon trucks, heavily armed officers, and even a crop duster spraying undetermined chemicals over the camp.”
Macmillan adds: “People should also ask these institutions why they are sinking so much money into maximizing the amounts of oil and gas that can be brought to the surface and burned at a time when climate science is clear we have to maximize what we keep in the ground instead”.
Indeed we cannot afford to burn any more.
Just last month, a ground-breaking new analysis by Oil Change International concluded that the embedded carbon emissions from the fossil fuel projects, if they run to the end of their projected lifetimes, will take us just beyond the Paris Agreement’s 2C warming limit, and even further from the goal of 1.5C.
This is without new fossil fuel infrastructure such as the North Dakota Access Pipeline.
Sign the petition here.