Chase Bank Occupied to Urge Divestment from DAPL

Chicagoans Interrupt Business at Chase Bank to Urge them to Divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline

Chicago, IL— More than two dozen people protested at a Chase Bank at branch on the Magnificant Mile Thursday morning, ten inside the bank and a dozen outside to demand that the bank stop funding the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) as part of a global day of action on December 1st targeting financiers. DAPL threatens the water supply and cultural and spiritual sites of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota as well as communities in Iowa and Illinois along the pipeline route.

Over the past eight months, thousands of Native Americans and allies have convened in Cannonball, ND to support the Standing Rock Sioux tribe as they resist the construction of the pipeline. DAPL construction threatens indigenous sovereignty as it is occurring on land that contains important sacred sites that was never ceded by the tribe. There has also been a lack of consultation with tribes during pipeline permitting and construction.

Chase branch protesters chanted, and dropped a banner inside the branch and called for the bank to stop funding the project. JP Morgan Chase is contributing 312,500,000 to the project.

Peaceful protesters or “water protectors” trying to peacefully stop construction of the pipeline have been met with militarized response that has included rubber bullets, concussion grenades, tazers, pepper spray and water cannons. Many have been injured, including one woman whose arm was nearly blown off on November 19th as she was delivering water to water protectors as they were being assaulted by police.

 “Banks like Chase that are funding the Dakota Access Pipeline are also funding the desecration of sacred sites, threats to the water source of the Standing Rock Sioux and the attacks on peaceful protesters trying to stop pipeline construction. We are here to urge this bank to divest from these human rights abuses,” said Angie Viands of Rising Tide Chicago.

The pipeline will cross multiple water sources, such as the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The need for clean water was emphasized at the protest as oil extraction and pipelines have burst and contaminated water many times before.

Public and investor pressure resulted in a Nov. 17th announcement by DNB, Norway’s largest bank that it sold it’s assets in DAPL.  This past Thursday, Odin Fund Management of Norway sold $23.8 million of shares in companies invested in the pipeline.

This event was one of three protests at banks in Chicago and several others across the state today to demand that they divest from DAPL. This event was organized by individuals and members of Lifted Voices, American Indian Center-Chicago, CLAW, Autonous Tenants Union and Rising Tide Chicago. chase-nodapl_3