Seattle, WA – Last week, 7 Wells Fargo branches were targeted in 10 actions by the #DeFundDAPL Seattle Action Coalition. The coalition has threatened to start disrupting business within Wells Fargo branches throughout the city unless the bank removes its money from the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Coalition members are calling for the WA regional manager, Marco Abbruzzese, to meet with Matt Remle, who helped author Seattle’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day Resolution and is a Standing Rock Sioux tribal member, to discuss steps Wells Fargo will take to remove its support from the pipeline.
The coalition is building towards a mass day of action on January 5th, when dozens of Wells Fargo customers will show their support for Standing Rock by closing their accounts.
“If you support Wells Fargo you support the Dakota Access Pipeline, which means you do not support your American Indian communities,” says Rachel Heaton, member of the Muckleshoot and the #DeFundDAPL coalition.
In less than a week, the coalition has grown to include a number of groups; including Ndns for Justice, 350 Seattle, Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites, Seattle for Standing Rock, Our Revolution, the Green Party WA, the Green Party Seattle, the 43rd Progressives and the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.
“I’ve been to Standing Rock and seen many things there,” says Paul Cheoketen Wagner of the Saanich Nation, “We suffered a lot of abuse out there, we were hit with every kind of bullet that wasn’t lead. They were coating people in pepper spray from a firehose. We must decide if we are going to move in that direction of abuse, or if we are going to move in the direction of a future for our grandchildren.”
The #DeFundDAPL coalition is also supporting Councilmember Sawant’s recently introduced ordinance that would see the City of Seattle switch its banking away from Wells Fargo, when its current contract expires in 2018.
“Our tribal leaders have been pushing this movement for divestment and I think the City of Seattle has the opportunity to do something incredibly historic here. It would become one of the largest cities, municipalities to divest from the pipeline,” said Matt Remle on the ordinance.